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Council leaders strip Miller of committee assignments in wake of arrest

December 4, 2017
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Indianapolis City-County Council member Jeff Miller. (IBJ photo)

Indianapolis City-County Council leaders moved Monday to remove councilman Jeff Miller from his committee assignments, stripping him of some of his power following his refusal to resign after being charged Nov. 17 with three felony counts of child molesting.

Miller was removed from the committees on public works, metropolitan development and community affairs, and was replaced with three other Republican council members. Scott Kreider will take his place on the public works committee; Brian Mowery will replace him on the metropolitan development committee; and Marilyn Pfisterer will fill his spot on the community affairs committee.

Miller will still be able to vote on proposals in full council meetings and attend committee meetings.

Minority Leader Mike McQuillen renewed calls for Miller to resign, saying he was a “distraction” for the legislative body.

“I think it’s very important we have councilors representing the citizens of Indianapolis who have the time and ability to attend committee meetings and put their full effort on attacking the issues of the day,” McQuillen said.

McQuillen said council Republicans could expel him from the caucus, but that is not planned at this time.

Miller was charged with child molesting after two 10-year-old girls told police he inappropriately touched and massaged them at his house.

The charges say Miller performed or submitted to fondling with the two children between Sept. 1 and Oct. 20, The charges are Level 4 felonies.

After the charges, County-Council Republicans expressed frustration that Miller did not resign from the council. Marion County GOP Chairman Jim Merritt said Miller indicated to him that he would resign immediately. And the Republican members of the council have all signed a letter calling for him to quit.

But Miller has continued to attend community events and send out emails and tweets about council-related business, indicating he was going to stay on the council.

In one of his emails dated Dec. 1, Miller said in an apparent reference to the council leadership’s expected move, “any councilor can attend any committee meeting and share their support or disapproval with a given proposal, based on how it may impact the district or the city.”

“I have attended many committees where I am not an official member, but have gone to speak on behalf of a proposal of mine that is appearing before that committee,” Miller said in the email. “So regardless of which committees I serve on in the future, know that I will always be at any meeting that impacts the quality of life of neighborhoods in our city.”

Neither Miller nor his lawyer have responded to several requests for comment. Miller appeared at an initial court hearing in Hendricks County early Monday afternoon. His pretrial date was set for March 16

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