Eric Mays’ lawsuit thrown out by judge, costs city $24,000

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FLINT, Michigan—A lawsuit filed by Flint City Councilman Eric Mays was thrown out by the judge overseeing the case because it had no merit.

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.

“(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.

The City’s Legal Department estimates the cost of defending against the lawsuit was at least $24,000. It is at least the second time Mays has cost the city time and money by filing a lawsuit that was thrown out. A 2019 lawsuit also was dismissed, but still 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.”

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, will put our total combined efforts, time, intellect, and resources to benefiting the people of the City of Flint,” Neeley said.

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