JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The Jackson community continues to respond after a long-time city councilman was arrested for domestic abuse.
6 News spoke with city council members about the accusations and what comes next.
An assault charge for Councilman Andrew Frounfelker is shocking the Jackson community, including fellow council members.
“He informed me doesn’t want this to be a distraction,” said Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies.
Representing the city’s fifth ward for 13 years, the councilman was charged Wednesday for assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with strangulation.
Authorities believe Frounfelker brutally assaulted his girlfriend at their home Tuesday night.
They say she was hospitalized with facial fractures, and may have been strangled.
Frounfelker denies the allegations and entered a not guilty plea in court.
The focus is now turning to what this means for his position on the Jackson City Council.
Mayor Dobies says the councilman could make a decision soon.
However, the mayor stopped short of calling for Frounfelker’s resignation or saying if he plans to resign.
“We plan to continue to have conversations with Andy and help to figure out what we can do in the best interest of the city,” Dobies said.
Frounfelker did not return a message to comment on what he intends to do next.
When it comes to other city council members we spoke with, Councilman Freddie Dancy and Councilwoman Colleen Sullivan took the chance to say domestic violence is not acceptable.
Councilman Jeromy Alexander told 6 News that domestic violence has no place in city leadership.
He joined the other council members, including Councilman Craig Pappin, in saying they do not want to many any official comment on the situation until more is learned about the accusations.
Vice Mayor Arlene Robinson did not return a message for comment.
If Frounfelker does resign, the city council will appoint someone from the fifth ward, which is the downtown area, to fill out his term.
“He’s got some things that he’s working through both professionally and personally right now,” Dobies said.
While the city waits on a decision from Frounfelker, we’ve learned that Consumers Energy is taking action, suspending him from his job with pay until the assault case is wrapped up.
Frounfelker is due back in court next month for a preliminary hearing.