St. Clair Shores Vigil Shows Support For Ex-City Manager Ben Hughes

Ben Hughes 1

Hundreds of St. Clair Shores residents, officials and business owners gathered Sunday night at an outdoor prayer vigil for former City Manager Ben Hughes.

Hughes, who resigned Nov. 1, has been hospitalized since Nov. 7 with a shoulder injury from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Current and former city employees, representatives from all three school districts, local business owners, members of community service organizations, and residents were among the more than 200 people who attended the Wahby Park ceremony, according to st. Clair shores Patch. The Macomb Daily estimates the crowd at about 300 people.

Pastor Bryan Hochhalter of Grace Community Church in Detroit led the vigil, which Patch editor Edward Cardenas says past and present city employees, representatives from three local school districts, merchants, members of community service organizations and residents. It was too breezy for planned candle-lighting.

Ben Hughes, 38, was found lying near a shotgun in a wooded area of Harrison Township Nov. 7. He's recovering at McLaren Macomb medical facility

Abe Hughes, his brother, voiced surprise at Sunday's turnout and is quoted by Patch: 

"Over the last couple of years, my brother has really grown to love St. Clair Shores. This was his extended family. It means a lot to my family, and it means a lot to Ben."

Ben Hughes abruptly resigned this month after the St. Clair Shores City Council met in closed session for about 90 minutes to conduct a personnel evaluation. He had been working without a contract since his agreement expired in October. It was the third time the council had met in private to review the manager’s status.

Assistant City Manager Mike Smith told Patch that council members were asked not to attend "so there wouldn't be any distractions."

Read more:  St. Clair Shores Patch and The Macomb Daily
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