U.S. District Court judge throws out Eric Mays’ lawsuit against the City of Flint – taxpayers foot $24,000 bill

A lawsuit filed by Flint City Councilman Eric Mays (1st Ward) was thrown out by the judge overseeing the case, who ruled it had no merit, according to a press release from Mayor Sheldon Neeley.

Mays announced Wednesday evening that he would appeal.

Mays sued the City for $1 million after he was removed from a city council meeting claiming his constitutional rights had been violated. However, U.S. District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman said in his dismissal that not only is the City protected by legislative immunity, but also noted that Mays was removed from the meeting because of his own behavior.

Eric Mays (1st ward) places his hands out for the officer to handcuff him after being removed from the council meeting.

“(Plaintiff Mays) was removed from council sessions and ‘muted’ during the Zoom call as a disciplinary measure. A review of the transcripts of these four sessions, copies of which are attached to defendants’ motion as Exhibits E, F, G, and H, shows that on each occasion this action was taken because plaintiff was being argumentative and disruptive,” Judge Friedman wrote in his case dismissal.

Cost is $24,000 to Flint taxpayers for defending against Mays

Representatives of the City of Flint’s Legal Department estimated the cost of defending against the lawsuit was at least $24,000. It is at least the second time Mays has filed a lawsuit that was thrown out. A 2019 lawsuit also was dismissed; that case cost the City about $20,000 to defend itself.

“This was an unfortunate waste of time and resources that ultimately hurts the City of Flint and the people who reside here. These dollars could have gone toward services to benefit the residents of Flint,” Mayor Neeley said. “It is time for all of us to lead with good will and to uphold the public interest.”

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley speaks at a press conference honoring seven Flint residents with a key to the city and a proclamation of their years of service and work in the city. (Photo by Tom Travis)

Mayor Neeley also said he was glad to see the judge affirmed the city council’s authority to discipline its own members and supported the council leadership’s determination that Mays’ behavior was disruptive.

“It is my prayer and hope that we can all, both the council and administration, put our total combined efforts, time, intellect and resources to benefiting the people of the City of Flint,” Neeley said.

EVM Staff can be reached at eastvillagemagazineflint@gmail.com.

Author: Tom Travis

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