The Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission has suspended its chairwoman.
The vote came during Thursday night’s TRC meeting. Chairwoman Amel Ali came under fire this week after audio surfaced of her using racial slurs on a podcast to describe members of the local black community. The audio has since been removed from the podcast’s web site.
TRC vice chairwoman Chasity Dillard abstained from Thursday night’s vote, arguing that there was a lack of information. Other commission members said the allegations were “hearsay”, although a majority still voted to suspend Ali.
The rules of the commission allow members to decide who holds the chair and vice chair positons, but they have no power to remove committee members entirely.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, TRC member Daphney Daniel announced she would be stepping down from the commission, citing personal and health reasons. Daniel was involved in a verbal altercation with Johnson County Supervisor Royceann Porter following Tuesday’s city council meeting, but the two sides apologized to each other at Thursday’s TRC meeting.
The city council held a special meeting Thursday morning to discuss removing Ali from the commission, but the motion was tabled until the council’s meeting on August 16th.