Plan allowing replacement of jailed councilman moves forward

Jail Cell
(WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana House committee has moved forward legislation that would allow East Chicago officials to replace a jailed councilman without having to remove him from office.

The House Judiciary Committee voted Monday to revise a Senate bill to include a proposal allowing a city council to declare a member “disabled” due to incarceration lasting 90 days or more. The (Munster) Times reports the proposal was expanded to also include disability due to physical or mental incapacitation.

East Chicago City Council member Robert Battle has been held without bond in jail since November after pleading not guilty to federal drug and homicide charges in connection with the killing of Reimundo Camarillo Jr.

Under the proposal, a council’s disability finding would lead to a replacement member until a council majority agrees the original member is capable of returning.

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