angelia james mug

Angelia James

MONROE — At their regular meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 9), Monroe City Council will discuss a resolution that could remove Councilwoman Angelia James from her seat on council.

The resolution, listed at the end of Tuesday’s meeting agenda, directs an “issuance of petition in amotion” to James. That jargon means procedures will be put in place of a hearing that could lead to James’ removal from council. This does not immediately remove her from council. The hearing could be held in the next 60 days.

“Amotion is a doctrine that allows a corporation, such as a municipal corporation, the inherent right to remove a member for misconduct while in office. It has been recognized in North Carolina as a valid exercise of a governing body’s power when a member of that body has engaged in misconduct,” a staff report prepared by City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan states.

This resolution addresses an incident James was the center of on Sept. 9 at Fairfield Inn and Suites, when she told city police officers that God spoke to her telling her there was a murderer in the hotel. The same night, James tried to fire, demote and promote officers — including firing Police Chief Bryan Gilliard. Councilmembers do not have the authority to fire, demote or give promotions to City of Monroe employees. Too, James held press conferences that were streamed live on social media.

At the press conferences, James according to Shah-Kahn, “disparaged City employees, including members of the Police Departments, the Interim City Manager, the Clerk’s Office, the City Attorney, and then also disparaged a Union County Superior Court Judge, members of the Union County Bar, and fellow members of the Monroe City Council,”

Per the report, members of the Monroe Police Department say “James’ words and actions created discord within the Police Department to the current day.”

Shah-Khan wrote: “Given what took place since September 9, 2021, the Council is concerned that significant misconduct has occurred at a level where the appropriate sanction is removal from the Council. As the City has not utilized a process based on amotion before, it is appropriate to request that the City Attorney or his designee prepare procedures for any proceeding in amotion and also to prepare a Petition in Amotion to move toward a hearing held by City Council.”

James posted to her Facebook page screenshots of an email she received from Shah-Khan last Thursday (Nov. 4) at 10:11 p.m. Her comments were, “Look at the time they sent this last night. Scheming during the night, evil doers!”

She encouraged Monroe residents to attend the meeting requesting their support. “I need you to show up at City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9th at 6 p.m. and speak at public comments for three minutes and let them know we are not having this control in our city. Who is with me!”