BLM activist elected to city council, missed work for six months while drawing pay checks before resigning

Councilwoman resigns by is licensed under
DES MOINES, IA – Indira Sheumaker was elected to the Des Moines City Council in 2021. After six months off the grid, including not showing up to meetings, her dad delivered her resignation letter for her.

The “defund the police” activist is associated with both Black Lives Matter and the Black Liberation Movement, according to the Post Millennial.

In March of this year, the Ward 1 representative stop coming to work, attending no meetings or council workshops. Reports indicate that her absence was unexplained, and she did not communicate with other city officials.

During her time away, it is believed that she continued to receive her pay. Research by Law Enforcement Today shows that the minimum annual salary of a Des Moines city council member is $28,880. If the reports are accurate, Sheumaker received nearly $15,000 for no work.

On September 6th, Randy Sheumaker delivered the resignation letter that was dated effective on August 31.
Mayor Frank Cownie expressed gratitude for the time she spent working for the people of Des Moine’s Ward 1.

“We wish Ms. Sheumaker the best and appreciate [her] time on the council,” the mayor said, according to a tweet from the city.

The six-month hiatus was not the only one she took. In July of 2022, she posted a statement regarding a month-long leave of absence she took to focus on her mental health.

In that letter, she listed clinical depression and anxiety, along with a battle with COVID as reasons for time off.

Members of her Ward had already reached out to the City Council to take action in light of the unknown whereabouts of Sheumaker.

Speaking with KCCI, Ward 1 resident, Jeremy Geerdes, said, "There's no real joy in this. I mean, nobody wanted this. Yet, I would say that we're also grateful. Grateful that Councilwoman Sheumaker has done the right thing for the ward and for the city, or the easiest thing anyway.

We're also grateful for the issues that she really focused on during her time in office. Things like houselessness [sic], food deserts, and the need for more equitable policing. Because even though we have a pretty good police department in Des Moines, we could always use improvement."

Angelo Thorne started a petition to ouster the unaccounted for official. "She was the perfect candidate that we needed to get things moving in our community," he said. "I think she had big views of what she wanted to do and didn't follow through."

Turns out, the resident’s call to action had led the mayor’s office to send Sheumaker a letter, demanding that she either return to work or submit her resignation.

Multiple social media posts have indicated that the city council has decided to hold a special election on November 7th to select a replacement for the vacated seat.
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