Tucked inside the March coronavirus bailout package was nearly $100 million for Flint, Michigan, setting off a threat- and profanity-filled feeding frenzy, with city council Vice President Maurice Davis saying Councilman Eric Mays, whom he described as a “crackhead,” is on a quest to “control” the money.
The small city of 95,000, which has been in and out of the national spotlight for the better part of a decade, was awarded an estimated $99.33 million by the Democrats’ March coronavirus relief bill despite the city’s infamous water crisis being resolved for years.
Davis, the city’s third most powerful official, took to his popular “Blues and News” Facebook live show earlier this month to rant about Mays, who is notorious for disrupting city council meetings and has a criminal record for pawning city property and driving impaired.
“Enough is enough of this holding the city business up with a crackhead, Mays,” Davis said on his April 8 show, adding, “don’t play with me, and I’m letting that be my last warning.”
Davis called Mays a “black bastard,” “damn drunk,” “bully,” “little b****,” and a “barking damn dog with no teeth” as well as a “fa***t” and threatened to “expose that ass” regarding “your homosexual activities in the penitentiary.”
“Luckily we wasn’t in council. That wouldn’t have ended good last night,” Davis said of the council’s virtual meeting. “You goddamn right I got a gun. I keep a gun. But the point is, I didn’t need no gun. But the way you put your mouth on people, that’s why Murdock slammed your ass or whatever when you called him all kind of names and got all up in his face, just like you doing me.”
Davis was referring to an incident at a Flint bar last year between Mays and Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s deputy chief of staff, DuVarl Murdock. The two traded verbal barbs before the confrontation became physical, with Murdock allegedly taking a swing at Mays, who ended up on the ground and later went to the hospital.
In February, the FBI worked with Flint police to track down a man charged with aggravated stalking for threatening Davis and his wife. Davis said at the time that he was threatened with being killed if he did not vote to move $1 million to the Flint police budget, a move Mays strongly supported.
Mays has also advocated for coronavirus relief money to be spent on raising salaries at the police department, a dubious use of the CARES Act’s state aid, according to the U.S. Treasury guidance.
In a phone call with The Daily Wire, Davis alleged that the man who threatened him was “tied directly to Councilman Mays,” saying the stalker told him, “you better vote with Councilman Mays,” or Davis and his wife would be killed. Davis added he found bullet holes in “all my trailers, trucks, and everything” last week, similar to what he told council members.
After some residents complained about Davis’ language on his show, the episodes where Davis talked about Mays disappeared from his Facebook page. Last week in a phone call, Davis denied talking about Mays at all on his show, saying, “we talk raw, but it ain’t talking nothing about an individual.” The Daily Wire has a recording of the show.
Davis complained about efforts by Mays to remove him from his council seat, saying Mays is “disrupting the whole of city government.”
“He wants to control all of the money that comes into this city,” Davis said.
Last month, Mays was removed from a virtual council meeting after two council members said they believed he was drunk. It was at least the ninth time in the past few years Mays has been ejected for being disruptive, including one instance last year when he was escorted out in handcuffs.
In January 2020, Mays was stripped of his council leadership roles after he gave a Nazi salute to the council president and compared her to Hitler. In 2017, Mays was sentenced to pay $300 and serve a week on the sheriff’s work detail for pawning city laptops nine times over two years. In 2016, Mays was sentenced to 28 days in jail for a 2013 incident in which he drove the wrong way on an expressway in a vehicle with four flat tires. Back in 1987, Mays pled guilty to felonious assault and was sentenced to a year of probation.
“I can assure you I am not a crackhead, ma’am,” Mays told The Daily Wire, calling himself a “popular local elected official.”
Mays also denied that he sent anyone to “extort him or do anything” to Davis.
However, Flint City Council President Kate Fields said she would not be surprised if Mays had sent someone to threaten Davis.
“I wouldn’t doubt it. I wouldn’t put anything past Eric Mays,” she told The Daily Wire, calling Mays “an obnoxious, horrible drain on the city of Flint.”
“Eric Mays baits Maurice Davis at every opportunity,” Fields said. “I don’t condone unprofessional language. I don’t condone violence, but I’ll tell you, poor Maurice Davis has had a lot to put up with.”
Caught in the political volatility is Flint’s $100 million chunk of federal aid, which Fields said remains in limbo since the U.S. Treasury has not yet finalized guidelines on how the funds can be used.
“We have some idea of some things it can be used for and some things it can’t be used for, but there is no decision or any plans yet that I’m aware of,” Fields said.
The city has a checkered history on spending emergency aid responsibly. Of the $390 million in state aid Flint received for its water crisis, about $129 million was spent on economic development and “social development” and only $144 million was spent on ensuring the city’s drinking water supply was safe, according to state spending data.
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