Republicans on the Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night voted to expel embattled council member Jeff Miller from their caucus.
Republicans have called for Miller, who has been charged with three felony counts of child molestation, to resign but he has remained on the council.
Mike McQuillen, minority leader of the council, tweeted Monday evening about the expulsion shortly before the council meeting was due to start.
“I encourage him to resign from the council so that he may focus his energies on his family & legal matters,” McQuillen wrote.
The expulsion doesn’t change his status as a Republican, but it removes him from an important planning, strategy and messaging meeting with his Republican colleagues, making it difficult to govern. Miller’s fellow Republican council members have all called for him to resign.
Miller was also recently stripped of his committee assignments on the council, meaning that he is only able to vote in full council meetings.
However, Miller has been adamant about remaining on the council, despite an initial assertion to the county GOP chairman that he intended to resign.
“Some view the council as a way to gain power, such as being on certain committees or holding certain titles,” Miller wrote in a Dec. 5 email to constituents. “No, the council is not about having power, but about having a voice and to use that voice to speak for those we represent."
His presence at neighborhood meetings has also been curtailed after a Fletcher Place meeting last week that was attended by both Miller and someone under a no-contact order with him related to the case. Miller was not charged with violating a no-contact order but The Indianapolis Star reported that Special Judge Mark A. Smith warned Miller he could face jail time if he made contact with witnesses during the duration of the child molestation case.
"He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence,” Scott Kreider, a Republican, posted on Twitter following the meeting incident. "But as feared, service under the cloud of his case is a distraction to real issues and creates potential conflicts. It appears to now be a drain on resources that should be directed toward violent and other crimes.”
Andy Howard, president of the neighborhood association, said he believes Miller will not be attending in the future.
“He has told me he will send me his comments and I will read them at the meeting,” Howard said.
Howard said “it’s not my decision to make” whether Miller continues to serve on the council but said Miller should reconsider his position to continue serving.
“If this is going to be a distraction from him doing his job, he should consider stepping down,” Howard said.