Flint, MI – Following a second rejection of recall language for Flint City Councilman Eric Mays, petitioner Dione Freeman has submitted three more attempts.

“He needs to be recalled and we need . . . an effective leader for the first ward,” Freeman said, adding that she wants there to be peace and decorum in council meetings.

Freeman filed all three new petitions on Aug. 1, 2023.

Mays said he had not seen the petitions yet, but referred to Freeman as a “disgruntled resident,” as he did in response to her former filing.

“I’m gonna encourage people in the first ward not to really get involved in that because of a disgruntled resident,” he told Flint Beat on Aug. 1.

The first petition’s language is related to Mays getting suspended from Flint City Council meetings through September 1, 2023, as voted on at a July 31, 2023 council meeting.

The second and third recall petitions’ language relates to a disorderly conduct charge Mays was found guilty of earlier this year in district court. The councilman is currently in the process of appealing that conviction.

Freeman originally filed a recall petition against Mays on June 21, 2023, citing that the councilman was charged with a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct

That language was voted down at a July 11, 2023 election commission meeting due to it not including a date of the misdemeanor.

Freeman then filed a second recall petition against Mays on July 11, 2023.

That recall language was voted down at a July 27 election commission meeting due to lack of clarity in the language.

“In this petition, it says he was charged with a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct,” said Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson, who was sitting in for Genesee County Treasurer Deb Cherry in the July 27 meeting. “Clearly, charges and convictions are two different things. Innocent until proven guilty on a charge, and the sentence doesn’t indicate if that was a sentence for the original charge.”

While Freeman and Mays await a hearing on the new filings’ language, Councilmembers Dennis Pfeiffer, Eva Worthing, Ladel Lewis and Judy Priestley currently have approved recall petition language against them.

To become a ballot measure, each of those petitions require a certain proportion of each councilmember’s constituents’ signatures, with Pfeiffer’s requiring 705, Worthing’s requiring 510, Lewis’ requiring 785 and Priestley’s requiring 515.

Sophia is Flint Beat's City Hall reporter. She joins the team after previously reporting for the Livingston Daily and the Lansing State Journal, along with some freelance work with The New York Times....

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