No discipline for South Bend councilman over controversial Facebook post


The South Bend Common Council will not discipline Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. for posting a vulgar, sexual photo of a man and a dog to his Facebook page.

The council decided to move on Monday night after months of heated debate on the topic.

It came down to some pretty technical language in city law, which was at the center of much of the discussion.

Basically, the argument was that the Rules Committee did not follow proper procedure during a recent meeting.

At the time, committee members were deadlocked during a discussion about the complaint filed against Davis, whose lawyer successfully argued Monday that council rules therefore required them to dismiss the complaint.

Council President Oliver Davis accepted that argument Monday evening and decided the complaint will not be heard any further. There will be no action against Henry Davis, Jr.

The Rules Committee Monday afternoon recommended Davis be censured, basically a verbal, public form of discipline.

They also recommended that he be denied access to public funds for remainder of 2014 and that he be removed from leadership positions.

But none of that will happen.

"I've offered a public apology, said Henry Davis, Jr. "I think I've done a great job of expressing my lapse in judgment at this particular time. I'm just ready to move forward with city business."

"This whole thing has been handled so terribly, I think, from the beginning," said Becky Kaiser, who filed a complaint against Davis. "It was pretty obvious that it was unprofessional and unethical, and in any other situation, there would've been something done about it."

At this point, there are no outstanding complaints against Henry Davis, Jr. before the council.

He's also been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

And so now some council members are saying it's about time they come up with a better set of social media standards telling them what they can and cannot do on platforms like Facebook. That's something they say they're already looking into.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off