FLINT, Mich.— On Tuesday, April 25, Flint Councilman Eric Mays was sentenced six months probation, one year after the meeting where he was removed as City Council President.
Mays will spend six months on probation but no time in jail for disorderly conduct, according to the Genesee District Judge Vikki Bayeh-Haley.
The councilman has argued that his removal from the April 25, 2022, meeting was unjustified and that he was treated differently than other council members have been when he was ordered to leave by President Allie Herkenroder.
Herkenroder, who had warned Mays for using profanity earlier in the same meeting, ordered the councilman to leave because she said he left his council seat and attempted to return without permission.
Mays' attorney, Ken Scott, agreed with Mays.
"The video of the meeting clearly indicated that he asked for permission to be excused and it was granted," Scott said.
Harkenroder had told the court that she did not give Mays permission to leave.
“Whether she intended to lie or was mistaken, he did have permission,” the judge said Tuesday.
Special prosecutor Michael Gildner told the judge that she should consider jail time for Mays.
“In that 10 years, the city has gone in and out of insolvency. It’s careened from crisis to crisis," he said. "If he’s not fighting with Scott Kincaid or Karen Weaver or Dayne Walling then he’s fighting with current (council members) like Quincy Murphy, Dennis Pfeiffer or Ladel Lewis.”
“If person A is having a problem with person B and person C and person D, it’s not person B, C or D’s problem, it’s person A’s problem,” Gildner said. “Mr. Mays is the problem. Not all of these other individuals.”
Judge Bayeh-Haley said Mays’ actions after the council’s decision could be considered disorderly conduct because he delayed the meeting, requiring police to remove him rather than leaving voluntarily.
"I don't care if he has a TikTok account- most people have social media, but none of that is before the court," she said. "It was a 10 second interval where he sat quietly and said that 'If I am going to be removed, I want to be arrested' and he cooperated with the police, he wasn't struggling. If there's all these instances of outrageous and disruptive conduct, it wasn't presented before the court."
She then sentenced him to six months probation and recommended a class to help the City Council work together.
“I think the whole entire City Council could benefit from the process class that the probation office recommends," she said. “But I don’t have jurisdiction over them."
Mays said Tuesday that he was satisfied with the outcome of the case.
"The majority of council was wrong. Not according to me and the court but according to the video evidence. I'll take this slap on the wrists as it relates to them getting it wrong."