Flint, MI — Flint resident Beverly Biggs-Leavy filed a lawsuit against Council Vice President Ladel Lewis after being removed from a Flint City Council meeting.
The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 18, 2023, alleges that Lewis violated Biggs-Leavy First Amendment rights and the Open Meetings Act by requesting her removal from an Aug. 14 meeting.
According to the lawsuit, Biggs-Leavy is also involved in the recall efforts against Lewis. The lawsuit alleges that Lewis has a “personal animus” toward Biggs-Leavy, “likely in connection with her efforts to aid in removing her from the Council.”
At the Aug. 14 meeting, Biggs-Leavy spoke out loud regarding Flint City Councilman Eric Mays’ being suspended from his duties until September 1, 2023. At this point, Lewis issued Biggs-Leavy her first “warning.”
“Excuse me, that is…the third time that you have spoken out. That is your warning,” Lewis said in the Aug 14 meeting.
Biggs-Leavy continued to speak and was asked to leave the meeting. Lewis requested that the City of Flint police officer present at the meeting escort her out.
On Aug, 18, Lewis told Flint Beat she had not heard of the lawsuit.
Lento Law Group, which has been leading multiple City of Flint-related lawsuits since June, will also be representing Biggs-Leavy in this case. Some of their previous lawsuits include a lawsuit against members of city council and Flint Police Officer William Metcalfe and another against Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley regarding the legality of an American Plan Rescue Act Advisory Committee.
“The injustice faced by Mrs. Biggs-Leavy in this case was not perpetrated by the Council as a whole, but rather, by a tyrannical and dictatorial Chairwoman, Councilwoman Ladel Lewis,” Lento Law Group Attorney Joseph Cannizzo wrote in an email.
He went on to write that Lewis “disproportionately” punished Biggs-Leavy because of her involvement in recall efforts against Lewis.