Yellow Springs council votes to remove president amid allegations of impairment

Housh says ‘unusual behavior’ stems from medical issue

The Yellow Springs Village Council voted Monday night to remove Brian Housh as its council president after allegations of impairment and inability to perform the duties of the office.

Council member Carmen Brown brought the motion forward Monday evening and Vice President Kevin Stokes seconded.

“(Housh) has shown such signs of impairment that it is clear that he is no longer — at least at this point — in a position to hold the position of president,” Brown said.

This follows an incident on Aug. 24, in which Yellow Springs police reportedly responded to calls alleging an intoxicated person — identified as Housh — was outside a vehicle around 10 p.m. The Dayton Daily News has requested records of the incident. There is no record of criminal charges being brought.

Body cam footage from the incident shows Housh outside his vehicle, parked the wrong way on the street, engaging with a police officer. The officer takes the keys to his car and asks Housh to call someone to come pick him up.

The officer repeats the instructions to call someone multiple times over a period of several minutes while Housh appears to struggle with his cell phone. At one point, Housh sways on his feet and the officer catches him before directing him to sit down.

“The biggest thing I have is this is kind of a repeat thing for you,” the officer says. “This happens way too often.”

At the meeting Monday evening, council member Carmen Brown brought the motion forward and Vice President Kevin Stokes seconded.

“(Housh) has shown such signs of impairment that is clear that he is no longer — at least at this point — in a position to hold the position of president,” Brown said.

Before the vote, Housh said he would read a prepared statement, adding he had “no doubt about how this vote’s going to go.”

Housh addressed the incident during the council meeting Monday, saying it was primarily a result of a medical episode.

“It is important to note that I take a medication for a physical condition that has a variety of side effects, and on a few occasions, I have either seemed out of it or intoxicated,” he said. “I have letters from my two doctors responding to requests from my employer to explain my unusual behavior in a couple of situations which I am happy to share. There’s no indication that alcohol is a trigger, but I am avoiding alcohol consumption, out of the utmost caution, until my medication issues are resolved.”

When the Dayton Daily News contacted Housh, he referred the newspaper to his comments to village council. Housh also supplied the Dayton Daily News with letters from his doctors, dated July of last year, showing he was being treated for fainting, and taking medication that may cause fatigue, headaches, insomnia and drowsiness as side effects. One doctor wrote, “It is safe to continue to work at this time and to drive if necessary.”

Housh said Monday that on Aug. 24 he had two drinks in a two-and-a-half hour period, and was not intoxicated when he got into his car, but shortly thereafter began to feel poorly.

“When I got into my car I felt fine. I quickly started not feeling fine and then immediately parked and got out of my car,” he said.

Housh said his critics have an “obvious agenda” to remove him from office.

“Positive progress of the village over the last decade cannot be denied,” Housh said. “We will be even more successful with fewer spurious complaints, which ultimately distract people from the real work and are self-serving. I am particularly concerned by the attitudes tied to justice that ultimately show a clear bias against individuals that have physical or mental medical conditions.”

Council voted 3-2 to remove Housh, with Housh and Marianne MacQueen dissenting.

Council elected Stokes as his replacement, and Gavin DeVore Leonard as the new vice president.

Stokes said the decision “was not easy” for him.

“We owe it to village residents, staff, and ourselves as a body, to take a beat, take a moment and address all issues of concern,” he said, saying to Housh, “It is my expectation that you, Brian, will remain on council and at some point resume the presidency.”

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