The South Bend Common Council will review an explicit photo posted to Facebook by member Henry Davis Jr.
The council's Rules Committee held a brief meeting Wednesday evening, during which the committee’s four members voted to hand the investigation over the council’s attorney.
Nine complaints have been filed to the city against Davis Jr. On Monday, Davis Jr. spoke out at a news conference saying the incident was an unfortunate mistake.
Becky Kaiser attended the public meeting, said she wants the committee to take the complaints seriously, “I hope they know the people of South Bend are watching and we’re going to watch very closely now, not just on this subject,” Kaiser added.
This is not the first time Davis has been in the spotlight for somewhat controversial matters. In June 2013, Davis and his father were pulled over for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. The pair was cuffed and arrested at gun point, and ultimately made to pay a one-dollar fine.
“We let this get too far in the first place, these kinds of shenanigans should have been nipped in the bud two years ago,” said Kaiser, however she wouldn’t elaborate as to what event two years ago she was referring to.
The last official filing of an alleged complaint against a South Bend Common Council member was July 25, 2012. The person filing that complaint was Henry Davis Jr.
Davis filed the complaint after Councilman Fred Ferlic said he looked like a drug dealer following a budget discussion when Davis arrived wearing sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt.
The Rules Committee determined that the facts were “…not sufficient to constitute a statutory violation of the rules governing the Common Council.” Therefore, no public hearings were conducted.
The last time public testimony was heard regarding complaints was July 11, 1986. Statements made by former Councilman Al Paszek allegedly violated several rules of conduct and public testimony was allowed. Any “Statements of Public Censure” were then entered into the council’s official records.
Wednesday night concerned citizens sat in on the Rules Committee meeting, although the meeting was not open for public comment.
Kaiser said Davis’ Facebook posting should force the people of South Bend to “step up” and take a “hard look” at what needs to be done in this town. She added that she hopes this makes each council member take responsibility for their actions.
As far as punishment goes, Kaiser and the other women attending the public meeting said they don’t just want a “slap on the wrist” for Davis.
The council’s attorney will complete her review by March 10th, at which point the committee will move forward with any action. According to Indiana Code the council does have the power to expel any member for violation of an official duty or declare the seat vacant if a member is unable to perform the duties of office.