Pastor Stephen J. Clay

Pastor Stephen J. Clay has been pastor of Messiah Missionary Baptist Church for 30 years.

Stephen Clay, Indianapolis City-County Councilman for District 13, resigned from the council. The resignation took effect at noon June 3. Clay cited a decreased ability to serve his constituents due to ousting from the Democrat caucus as his reason for stepping down.

The ousting occurred last year due to a series of controversies, beginning with Clay’s election to City-County Council president in January 2018. Clay defeated incumbent and fellow Democrat Maggie Lewis by reaching across the aisle to secure votes from Republican council members, causing controversy among Democrats.

Clay then accused Lewis of wrongfully approving raises for city employees and fired city staffers, claiming they destroyed classified documents. The staffers later successfully sued to regain their jobs. Amidst the controversy, allegations resurfaced of a former member of Clay’s church who claimed Clay sexually assaulted him 15 years ago. Clay wasn’t charged, as there wasn’t enough evidence.

By February 2018, Democrats expelled Clay from their caucus and Vop Osili replaced Clay as the new president. Clay spent a total of six weeks as City-County Council president. Clay’s legal battles from his controversies cost Marion County over $30,000 in his six weeks as president. Later the same month Clay lost his position as chairman of the Public Safety Committee.

Clay who is pastor of Messiah Missionary Baptist Church was unavailable for comment.

Contact staff writer Ben Lashar at 317-762-7848. Follow him on Twitter @BenjaminLashar.

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