The Council of Kerlile has chosen not to expel the Hale family from the body, nor remove Jennifer Hale herself. After a four-hour debate in the Council Chambers, the Council has decreed that there is “insufficient evidence” to warrant the “nuclear option” of expulsion; but that they will review the situation in six months if Jennifer Hale insists on staying in Lauchenoiria and refuses to educate Amelia at the Maytown Academy for Girls.
There is little precedent for the removal of a Council Family, with only the Robinsons previously expelled following a multi-generational treasonous plot begun by Sarah Robinson and continued by Carmen Robinson and her daughter Natasha. Due to the multi-generational nature of the crime, it was deemed necessary to expel the entire family; however this was a huge shock at the time. It is therefore not surprising that the Council does not wish to consolidate that precedent with another expulsion.
Jennifer Hale is now living in Lauchenoiria with her daughter Amelia and her male cousin Finlay. Lauchenoirian authorities have confirmed that the Hale family will be permitted to remain. However, due to this decision, Jennifer Hale remains in name a sitting Councillor. This may have a huge impact on the ability of the Council to follow certain procedures that require full attendance, or a set number of votes; if Hale refuses to return to Kerlile at all.
The decision will, however, be a major win for the Reform Party, which feared that if Hale followed in Robinson’s footsteps that the clear Women’s Party majority on the remaining Council would lead to an overthrow of reformist President Rebecca Arnott and, potentially, the banning of the Reform Party itself. However, with Hale remaining in name, the Women’s Party cannot reach that percentage barrier to outlaw its rivals once more. This provides some level of hope that reform in Kerlile will manage to continue, limping slowly onwards in spite of the attempts of opponents to halt it.