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Judge orders Flint councilman Eric Mays to pay $42,000 for lawsuit

Federal judge rejected the lawsuit in March and ordered Mays to pay legal fees of the defendants
 Eric Mays discusses an alternative idea for supplying Flint water.
Eric Mays discusses an alternative idea for supplying Flint water. (WJRT)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A federal judge has ordered Flint City Councilman Eric Mays pay more than $42,000 in attorney fees from a lawsuit he filed against the city of Flint and other council members.

Mays filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court after he was handcuffed and ordered to leave a March 4, 2020, Flint City Council meeting over inappropriate behavior. His fellow council members imposed a 30-day ban from him attending any other council meetings after the incident.

Mays, who represents the city’s First Ward, claimed his constitutional rights had been violated and asked the court for $1 million in damages. The lawsuit named all eight fellow members of the Flint City Council, Mayor Sheldon Neeley and three other officials as defendants.

U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman rejected the lawsuit in March and ruled that Mays was removed from the meeting due to his own behavior. Friedman noted that transcripts of four meetings showed Mays was “argumentative and disruptive.”

The judge now has ordered Mays pay the legal costs of the defendants totaling $42,150.

Neeley said in March that the city’s legal department spent about $24,000 defending Flint in the lawsuit. A 2019 lawsuit brought by Mays cost the city an additional $20,000 in legal fees, according to Neeley.

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