Report: Not enough evidence to conclude Davis violated oath - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Report: Not enough evidence to conclude Henry Davis Jr. violated oath with Facebook posts


The South Bend Common Council Rules Committee is reviewing the findings of the council attorney following a series of complaints against Councilman Henry Davis Jr.  The complaints came following a controversial picture and link posted on his official Facebook page earlier this year.

The 128-page document will be examined by the committee, and further action could be taken when they meet again next month.  FOX28 News has a copy of the document.  In it, Attorney Kathleen Cekanski-Farrand says that there is not enough evidence to find that Davis violated his Oath of Office. 

"Social media is a very changing area of the law," Cekanski-Farrand said.

The report includes nine written complaints. One of the complaints was filed by Becky Kaiser. "It's not about Henry." she said. "It's about what Henry did, and he still doesn't seem to understand that he had to go look for that picture."

Also included in the report were interviews between the Council Attorney and Davis himself. In the interviews, he says he posted the image after watching some TV programs, which included the Real House Wives of Atlanta and Grammy's. He said those programs showed "Beyonce was having sex with a chair," and Queen Latifah was "marrying people with alternative lifestyles."

The report says there is enough evidence to violate a South Bend Municipal Code, which requires Council members to observe the highest standards of conduct.

"There is not enough evidence at this time to conclude that there was a willful or malicious violation by Council Member Henry Davis through his Facebook posting.  Nevertheless, it can be reasonably concluded that there is evidence that the public trust was violated," the report said.

Becky Kaiser attended the hearing and said based on what she saw and heard today, she does not think action will be taken against Davis. "It's going to be the court of public opinion and that's really all it's about," she said.

Davis has publicly apologized for the post saying, "Many people have found it offensive. It was a mistake on my part and for that I am truly remorseful and I ask for your forgiveness."

The Rules Committee will review the findings during session during the first week of April. This group will provide an advisory recommendation to the full nine-member City Council regarding what action to take. Councilman Davis is allowed to help his case in the meantime.

"He has the right to supplement anything that is in the report if he believes there is additional information that the Council Rules Committee could have," Cekanski-Farrand said.

The possibility that Davis be removed is not ruled out. It would take a two-thirds vote from the full Council to do so.

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