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CALL 6: Absent board member plans to resign

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Posted at 1:39 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 14:49:09-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis government board member said Tuesday he will resign amid concerns about his absenteeism.

AJ Feeney-Ruiz is a Republican member of the Equal Opportunity Advisory Board, which investigates claims of discrimination within Marion County and carries out civil rights and fair housing public policies.

DETAILS | The Equal Opportunity Advisory Board

Feeney-Ruiz failed to show up for the board’s two most recent meetings -- on June 18, 2015 and Feb. 18, 2016, according to Maxine Russell, director of the Indianapolis Division of Equal Opportunity.

Indianapolis code says appointees must attend more than a one-third of meetings within a 12-month period.

The last Equal Opportunity Advisory Board meeting Feeney-Ruiz attended was on February 19, 2015, Russell said.

The Equal Opportunity Advisory Board must have at least seven out of 14 members present to have a quorum, according to Russell.

Feeney-Ruiz has been traveling abroad for months including Vietnam and Thailand, and earlier this year, posted on social media about selling his cabin and the belongings in his apartment.

Feeney-Ruiz was appointed by the City-County Council, and his term expires on June 30, 2016.

“If he's traveling for extended periods of time he should resign and make room for someone who's going to be around,” said City County Councilor Zach Adamson, a Democrat.

Feeney-Ruiz can be removed a two-thirds vote of the advisory board, and the City-County Council would then need to find a replacement to finish out his term.

Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney reached out to Feeney-Ruiz Tuesday who said he is staying abroad indefinitely, but still has an Indianapolis address.

“I think it would be best to resign,” said Feeney-Ruiz in a message to Kenney. “I'm unsure when I will be back.”

The next meeting for the Equal Opportunity Advisory Board is April 21, 2016. 

The board currently has 14 members, including those appointed by both the mayor and the City-County Council.

The board oversees the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Office of Minority & Women Business Development, according to Russell.

According to his LinkedIn page, Feeney-Ruiz has served as an adjunct professor at Ivy Tech, campaign manager and finance director for Congressman Todd Rokita, and a communications director for the Indiana Secretary of State.

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