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Jeff Hayner defends use of epithets and confronts two Ann Arbor City Council members

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Ann Arbor City Council
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Ann Arbor City Council member Jeff Hayner at the council meeting from July 18, 2022.

Regular business at the Ann Arbor City Council meeting Tuesday night was overshadowed by reports of an explosive confrontation.

Toward the end of the meeting, council member Jeff Hayner, seemingly unprovoked, brought up a year-old incident where he used a racial epiphet when talking to a reporter. Fellow council members Erica Briggs and Julie Grand spoke out against him.

After the meeting, the cameras were turned off, and Grand says Hayner swore at her and then turned his attention to Briggs.

“And he went over to her and stood above her, pointing his finger in her face. Screaming. Including obscenities.”

Hayner tells WEMU that Grand’s version of events is a “total fabrication,” and that he did not yell or swear. Five different City Council members have corroborated Grand’s statement to WEMU.

City council censured Hayner last year over the language and passed a resolution seeking his resignation. He refused to step down.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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