Some Of Flint’s Newly Elected Council Members Have Criminal Backgrounds, Filed For Bankruptcy [Video]
Flint has a rough image when it comes to violent crime and a horrible economy, and those realities are certainly reflected in last Tuesday's election results.
Will these new council members be good for Flint?
Flint's statistics on violent crimes has been well documented and so has the city's continuing struggle with unemployment and a sluggish economy. Would it surprise you, then, to know that four newly elected Flint City Council members were voted in to office despite personal bankruptcies and criminal records?
A convicted killer who served 19 years in prison beat the incumbent, Bernard Lawler by 71 votes to win the Fifth Ward seat. His name is Wantwaz Davis. Mr. Davis says that he didn't hide his conviction in 1991 for second-degree murder, but it wasn't publicly reported either.
More details can be found in the video below, from ABC12.
There is more in an interview with Wantwaz Davis in the video below.
Eric Mays, elected to the First Ward last Tuesday served a year on probation after he pleaded guilty to felonious assault in 1987. Mays claims that the man he threatened with a gun had been threatening his life. He was attending law school at the time and his conviction, he says, killed his law career.
Jackie Poplar, serving now as Second Ward Councilwoman filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2004. She did repay nearly $21,000 to creditors. She says the debts were incurred following the death of her mother. "I had to spend all I had to bury her. If I had to do it again, I would."
Monica Galloway, newly elected to represent the Seventh Ward, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy with her husband in 1999.
Flint's new council members will be sworn in today and will be paid $7,000 a year. They will have limited power because the city is still being run by a state-appointed Emergency Manager, Darnell Early. "I intend to work with whoever is sworn in on Monday," Early said in a recent interview.
People are suggesting that the election of these new council members with questionable backgrounds, Davis and Mays in particular, will only add to Flint's negative image. Do you agree, or do you hope that their unique struggles with crime and personal finance will offer a new perspective on how to start to fix Flint?