January 31, 2018

Council President Fires Staff Members, Weeks Before Vote On His Removal

City-County Council President Stephen Clay answered questions after Monday night's meeting, when many of his fellow Democrats took steps to remove him from the position. - Drew Daudelin/WFYI

City-County Council President Stephen Clay answered questions after Monday night's meeting, when many of his fellow Democrats took steps to remove him from the position.

Drew Daudelin/WFYI

Stephen Clay, president of the Indianapolis City-County Council, fired the council’s attorney and clerk Wednesday morning, just weeks before the council’s vote to remove him. 

The decision comes at a tumultuous time for Clay, just two days after members of his own party decided to vote on his removal at the council’s meeting next month.

Democrats hope to reverse Clay’s recent election over allegations that Clay, who is a Democrat, made backroom deals with Republicans to ensure his victory, then rewarded them with committee seats.

Vice President and Democrat Zach Adamson says he sent Clay a letter urging him to halt firing anyone during the ongoing process that could remove him.

“To remove staff prior to this vote is unbelievably reprehensible, and I think shows exactly why the council has lost faith in his ability to lead our council,” Adamson says.

Some, including Adamson, are also raising questions about whether Clay has the authority to fire these staff members. The answer lies in their hiring contracts, which are under review.

As of Monday this week, the council appeared to have enough votes to remove Clay as president. That decision comes in their meeting on Feb. 19.

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