Monroe City Council removes one of its own in unanimous vote
The Monroe City Council voted council member Angelia James out of office Thursday night. The council previously voted to censure James in September 2021 after she was involved in an incident at a hotel where she threatened to fire police officers and said God was speaking to her. A judge ordered the release of police body cam video from the incident last year.
James later apologized saying she was ready to move on and continue serving the Union County city. During a hearing on the matter, James said it should be up to voters to remove her.
“It was an isolated incident that happened," she said. "It could happen to any one of us. It just so happened mine was recorded.”
Hearing Officer Valecia McDowell cited the council's General Principes and Code of Ethics, passed in 2010 which reads :
Councilmembers: (1) “should obey all laws applicable to their official actions as members of the council”; (2) “are not generally allowed to act on behalf of the council but may only do so if the council specifically authorizes it, and that the council must take official action as a body”; (3) should “behave consistently and with respect toward everyone with whom they interact”; (4) should “act as the especially responsible citizens whom others can trust and respect”; and (5) should “set a good example for others in the community.”
In her report to City Council, McDowell wrote:
"I conclude that the evidence in the record indicates Ms. James engaged in misconduct in office and just cause exists for the City Council to remove her from office. If the City Council agrees with my assessment that she engaged in misconduct in office and that just cause exists after independently considering the evidence in the record, then the City Council — and the City Council alone — must decide how to vote on this critical issue. Importantly, councilmembers do not have to vote to remove Ms. James even if they agree that she engaged in misconduct in office and that just cause exists."
WJZY-TV reported that after the unanimous vote by the Monroe City Council James said she plans to take the case to court.