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East Lansing Mayor resigns after vote to terminate City Attorney

(WILX)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 11:09 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -

East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier announced her resignation verbally during a city council meeting Tuesday.

It came after the city council voted 3-2 to terminate the City Attorney’s contract.

Tom Yeadon was named city attorney in 2012 and was assistant city attorney before then dating back to 1985.

Some members of the community were frustrated with his office’s handling of prior prosecutions.

Beier says she didn’t agree with the three member’s decision to fire the longtime attorney, and neither did former Mayor and council member Mark Meadows. Meadows also resigned.

She says she got a call on Friday about an item added to the meeting agenda to fire Yeadon, which was past the typical Thursday deadline. Beier says she then requested the matter be discussed in a closed executive session before voting.

“You have an executive session and you talk about it or you have a discussion session in the wide open and you talk about it. You don’t put it on the agenda illegally, collect three votes and then vote on it. It’s just amateur hour and so I just thought this is horrible,” said Beier.

Beier formally submitted her letter of resignation to the city clerk after the meeting concluded, but left the virtual meeting held over zoom before it ended.

“I said you know what, you’re going to create a disaster and I don’t want my hands anywhere near it,” said Beier.

Beier says she feels terrible, but believes it was the right decision.

“I didn’t do it for the good of the city, I did it because bad things are going to happen because of these people and if I’m on council, I’m culpable. It sounds selfish, but it’s silly. I would do the same thing if a company was doing things I thought were immoral or dangerous,” said Beier.

The three members who voted in favor of terminating the contract, Aaron Stephens, Lisa Babcock and Jessy Gregg remain on the council. Stephens will take over as Mayor, mentioning at the end of the meeting he would not run for re-election at the end of the term.

“I want to say we will continue, persevere and keep in the fight to make East Lansing a beautiful place for all. We will continue the great work city staff has done on that and keep moving it forward,” said Stephens at the end of the meeting.

Yeadon’s contract now ends on October 1, 2020.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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