Chamber of Commerce Hosts As Speaker a Criminal Defendant While Case is Before the Jury?
If you want to keep the crowd down to a minimum then you would invite as your guest speaker someone who intentionally broke the rules of a pubic body regarding public comment time. The Flint Area Chamber of Commerce did just that. This luncheon event is guaranteed to go well past its announced time. You will have to take the afternoon off to hear this speaker. The speaker is going to talk about his ongoing criminal trial. Not a very smart thing to do.
In my view, Eric Mays has abused his privilege for many years during City Council meetings. Note he is not on the council although he has tried to get elected a few times. He essentially is very good at creating a circus at times by taking over the meetings with rants.
Eric talks well beyond the time allowed by the rules of Council and that which is necessary to get his point across. I must admit I do that myself in court from time to time. While the City Council can gab with the best of them there are people who actually have real business before the Council and deserve to have it considered and to be heard. Eric’s rants have made sure they wait a long time to get their business done.
The media has fueled the fire for Mays, who revels in the media attention he generates from his rants, by treating him as if he really did have something serious and logical to say. It is entertaining at times and this case points to one of those times when the Council leadership finally had enough of his disruptive behavior.
Apparently someone at the Flint City Council finally decided they were going to enforce the rules and called the police. Mays apparently resisted them and was then arrested. He is now trying to turn that court case into another way to get attention. Most people would be embarrassed to put themselves in such straights……not Eric. So the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce invites him to speak during the trial? What kind of wacky stuff is that?
If Flint is every to be considered a town with any hope it has to dispense with the nutty stuff. Treating bad behavior as legitimate political involvement is unacceptable. It diminishes the seriousness of the business at hand. This is yet another example of using the courts as a place to make some type of political statement. I hope the Judge and jury in this case take it serious and send a powerful message about decorum and respect.