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Former City Council Member Michelle Mills Put On Leave As St. Stephen's Looks Into Spending


A former Columbus City Council member who left office amid ethics concerns has been placed on leave from her position at a local non-profit.

Joelle Khouzam, an attorney for St. Stephen’s Community House, which was formed to help low-income people in the Linden neighborhood, says president/CEO Michelle Mills is on leave after charity trustees saw some expenditures lacked documentation.

An emailed statement says they’ve also hired an accounting firm to look at financial records and accounting procedures.

Mills left office in August 2015 amid an investigation into city council ties to lobbyist John Raphael, who is in prison after pleading guilty to trying to strong-arm campaign donations from the city’s former red light camera vendor.

Mills was among the candidates who traveled to an OSU football game on the Raphael’s dime, but didn’t disclose it until after media reports. She’s since repaid the money and paid a $250 fine.

St. Stephen's Chief Operating Officer Marilyn Mehaffie, who has been with the organization for 29 years, will serve as interim CEO.