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Sept. 28, 2020
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Flint City Councilman Eric Mays (center) was thrown out of Monday's Flint City Council meeting just days after nationally renowned attorney Steve Haney (at right) filed a lawsuit for Mays being thrown out of meetings.
Posted on Sept.28, 2020
Nationally renowned attorney Steve Haney keeps promise to city leaders by filing lawsuit for Eric Mays for nearly $1 million
FLINT TWP. (CCN) — Attorney Steve Haney of the Southfield firm of Haney Law filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of Flint City Councilman Eric Mays.
The lawsuit follows a March press conference where Haney outlined several concerns addressed with the councilman in front of media members and his 1st Ward residents at the Hasselbring Community Center. Councilman Mays was Flint’s top vote getter at the last city council election among winning candidates in all nine wards and he is the longest-serving council member.
Councilman Mays said the lawsuit was filed because his press conference warnings were ignored.
The lawsuit filed Friday named Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Flint Deputy Chief of Staff Duvarl Murdock, the City of Flint, City Attorney Angela Wheeler, Flint police officer William Metcalf who has removed Mays from meetings and his fellow council members — President Monica Galloway, Councilman Maurice Davis, Councilwoman Kate Fields, Councilwoman Eva Worthing, Councilman Santino Guerra, Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter, Councilman Allan Griggs and Councilman Herb Winfrey.
The federal lawsuit claims the group violated the constitutional rights of Councilman Mays. The specific claims cited in the lawsuit are that the group has violated his right to free speech, due process and unreasonable seizure, denied him equal protection under the law, and subjected him to false arrest.
The lawsuit seeks nearly $1 million — more than $100,000 in damages for each of nine counts of wrongdoing he alleges.
The lawsuit has been assigned to a federal magistrate. Three 1st Ward residents — Liberty Bell, Johnny Billings and Larry Tarlton — and are also parties to the U.S. District Court lawsuit. The residents claim that they were deprived of their constitutionally-guaranteed rights of representation and a voice in Flint City Council meetings. The lawsuit cites three separate instances when Councilman Mays claims he was improperly removed from council meetings and a 30-day suspension from attending meetings despite no power to enact such a penalty in the Flint City Charter or anywhere within state law statutes, or federal law statutes. The federal lawsuit also cites an incident at Rube’s Bar in Flint in which Councilman Mays alleges he was subjected to “crude taunts, insults and verbal abuse” by Neeley’s deputy chief of staff, before he was “slapped, struck and thrown to the floor where he sustained physical injuries which required medical treatment.” The lawsuit says Neeley abused Mays’ rights by “showcasing” the incident at Rube’s Bar in a city news release that said in part that the councilman first “approached Murdock in a hostile fashion and Murdock defended himself."
Lead attorney Haney listed F. Anthony Lubkin of Owosso as co-counsel in the federal case filed Friday on behalf of Councilman Mays. Lubkin is well known to Flint city officials. He represented Flint police officers, businessmen and neighborhood watch leaders in a controversial recall bid against former Mayor Dayne Walling. Lubkin also won an out-of-court settlement and public apology from a former city council member after a lawsuit filed by former Mayor Williamson administration member John Carpenter was fired by Walling. Lubin has co-counseled with the former law partner of Johnny Cochran of O.J. Simpson fame and fights for pro-life issues with the nationally renowned Thomas More Society of Chicago.
Haney is a prominent Metro Detroit lawyer who is a nationally renowned civil rights litigator who has won major cases in Michigan, and around the USA.
Haney is currently fighting the City of Detroit over a man’s home burning as firefighters posed for a photo in front of it and was recently featured on ABC’s Good Morning America after filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Nordstrom’s over claims that a security guard for their Indianapolis store racially profiling two of his clients while shopping. Haney also filed a controversial lawsuit earlier this year against a former campaign staff member of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for allegedly “shaking down his client” who subsequently faced what was described in the lawsuit as a phony criminal investigation. The lawsuit also cited that Nessel won the election with what her former campaign staff member described as computer hacking help from a Russian group.
Haney first rose to prominence in Michigan as a premier trial attorney by winning 78 consecutive felony jury trials. Haney’s prosecutorial career began as a felony drug prosecutor and later led a Special Prosecutorial Unit for the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, including in 2005 when he charged one of the largest organized crime cases in Michigan history, resulting in numerous criminal convictions.
Haney subsequently switched to civil rights litigation and criminal defense work with one of his initial cases including successfully defending and achieving a full dismissal of a high profile racketeering case against a Detroit area businessman. The case received international attention as one of the few occasions in the history of Detroit where a defendant accused of conducting a criminal enterprise was fully exonerated with a dismissal of all charges. Haney is currently the lead attorney in the high profile criminal case against Detroit businessman Bob Carmack who has been locked in a political war with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan for a few years and Haney has co-counseled with Bruce Cutter of “Teflon John” Gotti fame, including representing notorious drug kingpin El Chappo.
Haney was also recently featured in the HBO documentary “The Scheme” for his work on the college basketball scandal that led to major coaches losing their jobs when his client, Saginaw native Christian Dawkins, fought criminal charges in a Manhatten courtroom over shoe companies allegedly paying athletes at big time programs. The case was characterized by ESPN as the “Biggest Trial in the History of Sports.” Prosecuted in the Southern District of New York, Dawkins was acquited on four of six felony charges before a Manhattan jury and found not guilty on all charges of wire fraud. The month-long trial was historic in that it was the first time a sports agent professional was federally charged and acquitted of wire fraud.
Haney is well known in the sports world as a sport agent who worked with former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson and NBA Hall of Fame stars Magic Johnson and Dominque Wilkins. Haney married Magic Johnson’s cousin and launched his law career when famously engineering Magic’s basketball comeback in Europe before his return to the NBA after contracting AIDS. Haney broke all Magic Johnson’s scoring records as a prep star at Lansing Everett High School and went on to star at San Jose State University where he led the school’s basketball team in scoring with a 17-point average. He set multiple school records for scoring proficiency and to date, his .462 career long-distance accuracy ranks him as one of the premier shooters in the history of Division I basketball and one of only a handful of basketball players ever to score 1,000 career points in less than two seasons.
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