The chairman of the East Point Commission on Arts and Cultural Diversity (ACDC) has filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Monique Owens over the February 2020 incident.

The ethics council met to discuss the complaint on Tuesday.

Alice Dybolt filed a complaint describing an incident that occurred during a rehearsal on February 6, 2020 for an event focusing on culture for Black History Month. Members of the community practiced reading sections of Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream”. Attended by Eastpoint City Council, Eastpoint Public Schools, and ACDC members. Dibolt passed on each section of the speech,

Dibolt’s complaint alleges that while handing Owens part of her speech, she said, “Here you are, Monique,” and that Owens immediately replied, “You need to call me mayor.” Dibolt told Owens that she was not going to do so, and continued the rehearsal, at which time Owens left the council halls at City Hall where the rehearsal was taking place.

Alice Dybolt FILED A PHOTO

About 15 minutes later, Owens allegedly returned to the council chamber to shout at Dibolt, and after a rehearsal, Dibolt learned that Owens had called the then mayor Elk Doom and public safety director George Ruhib about the incident. A police officer was present, and Doom told Dibolt that Owens had requested a “mediation session” with Dibolt, Dum and the officer. According to Dibolt’s complaint and police reports, an Eastpoint police officer was sent to City Hall in response to Owens’ call on Ruhiba’s cell phone.

Dibolt accuses that calling the mayor on Ruhiba’s personal cell phone, and not from the police or 911, is an ethical violation because she expected “special treatment” and the police officer’s stay at the town hall for an hour was an inappropriate use of city resources. The complaint also says that during the incident, Owens called for Dibolt’s removal from the ACDC, which is not the procedure outlined in the city’s charter.

Dibolt is married to board member Cardi DeManaco Jr., who often clashed with Owens.

The Ethics Council considered the complaint worthy of investigation, and Chair Stacey Munis said that at the next meeting, the body would request a contribution from Owens. At its session on February 8, 2021, the Ethics Council discussed two complaints against Owens filed by Eastpoint residents. During the meeting, Munis said that Owens was asked to attend and describe the two events from her point of view, but she refused. Doom said Owens told her she didn’t want to talk to the Ethics Council.

“A year ago, we asked the mayor to come and share his views with us, and she refused,” Munis said. “We haven’t even called the director of public safety, and he’s here tonight.”

Owens did not respond to inquiries from The Macomb Daily regarding her intention to appear at the next meeting of the Ethics Council.

In his complaint, Dybolt also mentioned Ruhiba’s name, accusing that when he received a call on his personal cell phone from Owens, he had to send her to call 911 or the police. Ruhib spoke at the meeting, saying he was outraged by the accusation of any breach of ethics, and indicated that he did not have a mobile phone issued by the city.

“The mayor called and said she was at the ceremony at City Hall, and asked me to send an officer to make sure everything was in order,” Ruhib said. “I contacted my lieutenant and asked him to send an officer to stick his head in the door and make sure everything was fine, I was just doing my job like any other chief or director.”

Members of the ethics council agreed with Ruhiba that he should not be part of the complaint, but voted to continue investigating the complaint against Owens.

“George (Ruhib) was just doing his job,” said board member Lynn Tuben. “The officer had to spend an hour at City Hall until everything was decided between the two parties, and that was the hour when this officer had to be available for something more serious that was happening in the city. Both parties involved could handle this better. “

Munis said she understands that Owens felt disrespectful, but since the incident was described in the complaint, she struggles to perceive Dibolt’s actions as a threat.

“What was the danger of calling the police?” said Munis. “Mrs. Doom said she was having dinner with her husband when she was called to come and become a mediator. I see where someone felt disrespected, but I don’t see where the danger is. You talk about time, money and city resources.” which were spent unnecessarily ”.

In a letter to the Ethics Council that was filed along with her complaint, Diblott explained why she waited two years to formally file a complaint.

“In a conversation that took place on January 18, 2022 between Monique Owens and Cardi DeManac Jr. immediately after the city council meeting, Monique denied that she had ever called the police for disrespecting her,” Diblot said in a letter. “It happened. There is more than enough documentation to show that this happened. To rewrite history so that it better fits her point of view is absolutely distrustful. “

A date for the next meeting of the Ethics Council has not yet been set.

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