City-County Council adds February vote that could oust president

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis City-County Council voted on Monday night to start a process that could end with the ousting the newly elected council president, Councilor Stephen Clay.

Councilor Joe Simpson, a Democrat representing District 7, moved to amend the night’s agenda, adding a motion that would put a special order to remove Clay on the Feb. 19 meeting agenda.

Councilors passed the procedural vote 12-11 at the beginning the meeting to add an additional item to the end of Monday night’s agenda. At the end of the meeting, 10 councilors, including Clay and many Republicans abstained from voting, while 13 councilors– including Republican councilor Jeff Miller — voted to add the special order to the February meeting.

Monday’s decision to move forward with that removal process came just weeks after Clay defeated fellow Democrat Maggie Lewis.

Since then, Clay has been the center of controversy over past allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor and claims that he made a deal with Republicans to give them back control of some council committees.

The council approved adding a vote to its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 19, that could remove Clay.

A group of Democrats on the City-County Council released a statement following the vote accusing Clay of “a craven pursuit of political power over good and collaborative public policy” and calling him “unfit to serve” as president.