INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Stephen Clay resigned as president of the City-County Council Monday evening.
Clay announced ahead of a council meeting that he agreed to a peaceful transfer of power to Councilman Vop Osili.
“My letter of resignation from the Office of the President will be presented before the council tonight, at which time we will suspend the rules and proceed to a special election,” said Clay.
When asked whether he had any regrets, Clay said absolutely not.
“There was nothing that went undone in terms of appropriation, in terms of the activity, daily operations of the council. Those matters were handled without interruption,” said Clay. “I believe in this moment that Mr. Osili provides the best way forward for our council and I’m going to support that effort tonight.”
Later in the night, the council unanimously voted to elect Osili as the new president.
"Our council has shaken the confidence of our constituents, but that was yesterday and it’s time we move forward," said Osili as he sat down and began presiding over his first meeting.
Former president Maggie Lewis believes healing the wounds caused by six weeks of chaos among the council might not be a quick fix.
"It’s been a crazy six weeks, not only for me and my colleagues," said Lewis. "I feel like this has been an embarrassment to the city of Indianapolis. We are better than this. And unfortunately this is going to be a bruise that takes a while to heal."
Mayor Joe Hogsett issued the following statement regarding the appointment of Osili:
“For two years, I have worked with all 25 City-County Councillors to address the challenges confronting our city. Whether a structurally balanced budget, increased funding for infrastructure or putting more officers on the street, Democrats and Republicans have come together and moved our community forward. In that same spirit, I look forward to working with President Osili and the City-County Council on behalf of Indianapolis taxpayers.”
Initially, council members from both parties were expected to attempt to oust Clay from the position during the meeting.
Clay’s resignation comes after several members of the council filed a lawsuit that accused Clay of violating state law and municipal code by firing the council clerk and council attorney. Clay claims the firings were part of his transition as the new president.