Closed door meeting held Thursday to discuss future of City-County Council President Stephen Clay

INDIANAPOLIS -- Democrats met behind closed doors Thursday to discuss possible action against Indianapolis City-County Council President Stephen Clay, who is a member of their own party.

On Wednesday, Clay abruptly fired two high-level council staff members - the clerk of the council and staff lawyer- who were both escorted out by sheriff's deputies. Clay reportedly tried to get rid of a third staff member as well.  

Clay said the firings are part of a transition and any new administration has the ability to make staff changes.

Two days prior, city-county councilors took a vote of no confidence in Clay, which will lead to a vote at the next council meeting on Feb. 19 that could remove him from the presidency.

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Clay was elevated to city-county council president after every Republican, except two, voted in his favor.

"We saw an opportunity to have input, to lead some committees. So we don't want to whine, we want to offer solutions," said State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Marion County).

The Ministers Alliance also supported Clay's presidency. The head of that group sent a letter to the council Thursday, saying the division is not serving the public well.

"I'm hoping that things will be done by my estimation to bring back the integrity of the council," said Ronald Covington, Ministers Alliance.

RTV6 reached out to all 25 members of the city-county council for comment on Thursday.

Democratic Councilor Frank Mascari characterized Clay as a 'short-term president.' Mascari says he's confident the clerk of the council will get her job back since she was elected by the full body.

Republican Councilor Scott Kreider said he was 'stunned' to hear bout the firings and says 'it's most definitely' a distraction.

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