Jackson City Council considers next move in councilman assault scandal

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — An assault charge for a Jackson city councilman accused of brutally beating his girlfriend has shocked the community.

 

And now a lot of that outrage is turning to his fellow city council members, as they grapple with what to do in the wake of this scandal.

 

6 News has what the council would like to see happen next.

While Councilman Andrew Frounfelker was a no show at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, fellow council members were there plotting his future.

 

 “I believe that in the best interest of the city that he resign,” said Mayor Derek Dobies.

 

However, not all council members feel the same about Frounfelker, who’s represented the fifth ward for 13 years. 

 

Councilwoman Colleen Sullivan spoke out against domestic violence, but joined Councilwoman Arlene Robinson in saying Frounfelker deserves his day in court before judgment is passed by the council.

 

Councilman Jeromy Alexander had a different approach, wanting to take a hard line against this kind of behavior.

 

 “Begin the process of drafting the articles of impeachment and begin this immediately,” Alexander said.

    

The council ultimately decided to follow the suggestion of Councilman Craig Pappin, voting to consider its own investigation into whether Frounfelker should be impeached.

 

“Where else are we going to get the information? Make a good judgment, evaluate that evidence,” Pappin said.

 

The city attorney is now looking at ways to conduct the investigation.

    

If the council impeaches Frounfelker, residents in the fifth ward will vote on his fate.

 

Since Frounfelker is charged with a felony, the city charter says he will be immediately removed if he’s convicted.

 

Recall is another option.

 

Only 139 signatures from fifth ward residents are needed to put it on a ballot. 

 

And of course, Frounfelker may also decide to resign.

 

He has not returned messages for comment.

 

But the mayor says he recently spoke with Frounfelker, and found out that the councilman is thinking about his future on the council.

    

“Andy informed me he will be making some professional decisions in the coming days and he does not want this to be a distraction from the continued success of the city,” Dobies said.

 

If Frounfelker resigns, the council will appoint someone from the fifth ward to fill out his term.

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