Council comment prompts complaint

‘Responsibility means accepting the consequences. As of yet, there have been no consequences, and she’s a repeat offender.’
— resident Jeff Taylor
on Councilwoman Beverly Kelley

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — A resident here has filed an ethics complaint against a city councilwoman.

The complaint, filed last Friday by Dennis Hayes, mentions vulgar remarks whispered by Councilwoman Beverly Kelley at a May 10 council meeting. It also calls for her resignation.

Kelley whispered the comments to City Attorney Todd Flood about resident Dr. Pat Taylor, who approached the microphone during the portion of the meeting set aside for residents’ comments.

Kelley’s comments were not heard by those in attendance, but were broadcast over the city’s cable access channel via the microphone in front of the councilwoman’s seat.

The letter also mentions past remarks made by Kelley, including yelling at the wife of a firefighter to “shut up” during a council meeting where firefighter layoffs were discussed. Kelley publicly apologized to the woman at that meeting.

In his letter to the City Council and Flood, Hayes said that outburst was understandable, as Kelley clearly was upset to deliver layoff notices to the department. The most recent comments, however, he said, were “mean-spirited” and the “clear product of a pronounced animus towards a good citizen.”

Kelley apologized for the overheard comments at a May 17 special meeting.

“I want to take a moment to apologize for the comment I made that was not intended for public dissemination,” she said. “I take responsibility for my actions and unfortunately made an error in judgment. Though I will personally apologize, I want to acknowledge to those that may have been affected that I am truly sorry.

“Never was there an intent to have my comment overheard. I will not get into the content, nor will I discuss this matter further. To talk about it any further only serves to further injure those who are already injured.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, several audience members asked for Kelley’s resignation.

Among them were Jeff Taylor, whose wife was the subject of Kelley’s comment. Taylor said neither Kelley nor Flood had called his wife to apologize since the comment was made.

“Responsibility means accepting the consequences,” Taylor said. “As of yet, there have been no consequences, and she’s a repeat offender.”

Councilman James Flynn, who was not present at the May 10 meeting, told the audience he had called the Taylors to apologize.

Flood said outside counsel has been retained to investigate the ethics complaint.