Indy Councilor Stephen Clay resigns, a year after controversial rise to presidency

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 18:49:59-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis City-County Councilor Stephen Clay, D-District 13, resigned Monday, more than a year after his controversial move to become council president.

Clay's resignation was confirmed by City-County Council Clerk SaRita Hughes. It was effective at noon Monday.

On Jan. 8, 2018, Clay was elected president, unseating Councilor Maggie Lewis in a 14-11 vote. He won thanks to the support of nine council Republicans who crossed party lines to vote for him. Clay returned the favor by awarding the Republicans the top positions in three council committees, Public Works, Ethics and Rules & Public Policy.

A couple weeks after he became president of the council, Clay fired two high-level council staff members.

Democrats on the council took a no-confidence vote in his ability to effectively lead and expelled him from their caucus. He stepped down on Feb. 19, 2018.

Last year, Clay announced he would not run for reelection. Clay represented District 13, which stretches from Emerson Avenue to Post Road, and from about 21st Street to 56th Street. Democrat Keith Graves is running unopposed to represent District 13.

Clay is the second member of the council to leave their position in 2019. Republican Marilyn Pfisterer retired earlier this year.

According to his online biography, Clay is also an appointed assistant chaplain to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, and the senior pastor of Messiah Missionary Baptist Church of Indianapolis.