Article Comment 

Supervisor apologizes for 'shoving match' over flyer


Copy of the flyer that caused the altercation

Copy of the flyer that caused the altercation


Neal Wagner



Discussions of a Thursday "shoving match" fueled a verbal dispute between Lowndes County District 1 Supervisor and Board President Harry Sanders and District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks during a Monday board meeting. 




"I would just like to apologize for what happened in here last week," Brooks said as he addressed the board. "That puts us all in an awkward situation, and you all expect something different from the people elected to serve you." 




Brooks'' comments came a few days after he and Sanders argued over the placement of a political flyer on the front door of the Lowndes County Courthouse.  




The flyer depicted an upcoming fundraiser at the Trotter Convention Center being held to celebrate Brooks'' 25 years of service to the county, according to the flyer. Though the flyer was posted on the courthouse door for several days, Sanders did not notice it until Feb. 24, he said.  




"It was advertising a political event. It''s illegal to post political advertisements on courthouse grounds," Sanders explained after Monday''s meeting. "I took the flyer down last Tuesday, and he confronted me about it last Thursday and asked why I had taken it down. 




"I told him he shouldn''t have had it there, but he was welcome to put it on the (courthouse) bulletin board," Sanders added. "That sparked an argument, and it just went on from there." 




After Brooks and Sanders argued in Lowndes County Administrator Ralph Billingsley''s office, Brooks re-posted the flyer on the front door and notified Sanders, the District 1 supervisor said. 




"At that point, we were in the supervisors'' boardroom and he came in and told me he had re-posted the flyer. He told me if I was going to take it down, I should follow him and do it then," Sanders said. "Then we started arguing and he began bumping me with his stomach." 




After the argument left the boardroom and spilled into the courthouse hallway, the two continued arguing until Sanders pushed Brooks away with his hands, according to Brooks. 




Although Brooks apologized to the board Monday morning, he initially named every board member except Sanders before doing so. 




"Last week, you called me an atheist and every other name I can think of," Sanders told Brooks. "We have a differing of opinions, but I have always treated you with respect. 




"You can try to come in here and sound like a peacemaker this morning, but you apologized to everyone but me," Sanders added.  




"Harry, I apologize," Brooks responded. "I called you some names and I apologize for that. But I am not a child, and I will not be treated as such." 




Following the meeting, Brooks declined comment on the matter. 




"Basically, Harry and I got into a shoving match last week," Brooks offered. "But that''s all I want to say. I want to get it behind me and let it die a slow death." 




Tag renewals, E-911, FEMA grant 




In other business, the board: 




--Heard from Lowndes County Tax Assessor/Collector Greg Andrews that the county will be late mailing out vehicle license tag renewal cards for March.  




"We like to get those cards out at the end of the month, but we are actually out of them right now and waiting for Jackson to send us some more," Andrews explained.  




"We want everyone to know that they are more than welcome to come in at any time to renew their tags this month," Andrews added. "We just won''t be mailing out the renewal cards right now." 




--Made plans to study the reasons behind an E-911 emergency generator failure during a Friday thunderstorm. 




"We had an electrical outage, and the generator did not crank up when we needed it," explained Lowndes County Administrator Ralph Billingsley. "We later found out that there are three batteries on that generator, and three of them failed." 




Because the generators are automatically tested each Tuesday, authorities are unsure why the system did not function Friday night. 


"It would be a surprise to me if it ran on Tuesday and then didn''t crank up on Friday," Billingsley said. "We will be looking into that to determine what went wrong." 




The generator was non-functional for a little more than one hour before E-911 officials replaced the batteries and restored power to the E-911 call center. During the power outage, E-911 dispatchers used battery-powered radios and other equipment to direct emergency traffic. 




--Announced the county had been selected to receive a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 




The grant will be funded 95 percent by FEMA and 5 percent by the county, bringing the county total to about $8,000 said Billingsley. 


Funds will be used to purchase gas-powered generators for each of the county''s five volunteer firefighter districts.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment Noland commented at 3/3/2009 2:18:00 PM:

This is a sad state of affairs for Lowndes County, two "leaders" acting as bullies instead of adults. I would think the code of conduct between people elected to lead a county would prevent such actions as pushing and shoving.


Article Comment Rob commented at 3/3/2009 3:56:00 PM:

Typical Leroy Brooks behavior. I feel sorry that the folks in his district are scared into voting for him. He is a crook and an embarassment to Columbus.


Article Comment justice commented at 3/3/2009 4:29:00 PM:

Lowndes County District 1 Supervisor and Board President Harry Sanders is typical racist sorry to say it but i watch the meetings and it seems like Harry is putting on a show for all his friends and church buddies Its time for some young people to get out their and run for these positions because basically all they are doing is getting free pay checks instead of serving the people! They need to start from the heart of the city and work their way out. This is why Columbus will never change because Jim Crow era old folks are still living in the past and are instilling the same values in their kids. Joe Brooks do alot for the community so young and old can have the same things more fortunate people can have Harry Sanders NO COMMENT cause i dont know what he does! This is coming from a white woman who is tired of the rascism here in columbus STOP IT and just LIVE!!!


Article Comment County Resident commented at 3/3/2009 8:58:00 PM:

I challenge all county residents of all races to stand up for our county and request/demand that Mr. H. Sanders & Mr. L. Brooks resign immediately. This is such childish behavior in such a bad economic time or any time for that matter. People you wonder why those big name stores aren't coming to Columbus & Lowndes county this foolish behavior is partly to blame.
You too are always playing the race card in every public disagreement. What example are you setting for racial harmony here in Lowndes county? You aren't the two of you are encouraging this racism that we have fought to overcome everywhere. Columbus & Lowndes county is the worst place I have lived that racism is such a daily issue. We all have the same color blood running thru our viens. It is high time we put blinders on to skin color & get along for the greater good of our communities.
Resign now...Your time has past for chance of doing good.


Article Comment fed up commented at 3/3/2009 10:45:00 PM:

It is really sadt to see someone who holds a public office seat carry on this way. Mr. Brooks and Mr. Sanders is suppose to set examples, this isn't setting an example. How can the citizens of Columbus allow this to happen, Mr. Brooks has been acting this way since I can remember. If the people of Columbus would think hard when it's time for reelection they should vote NO for leaders that can not lead by no other means but to act like Mr Brooks and Mr. Sanders.e should look for leaders who are about helping the citizens not running a day care


Article Comment A reader commented at 3/4/2009 12:00:00 PM:

This is certainly not the first time our elected officials have been an embarrassment to the public. The fact that Joe Brooks illegally posted an advertisement is beside the point. These two need to grow up!


Article Comment Joe Fields commented at 3/4/2009 2:08:00 PM:

Leroy, Leroy, Leroy............ This latest incident might be over but it won't be long until you'll stir up another. Good luck Lowndes County.


Article Comment justice commented at 3/4/2009 2:52:00 PM:

Harry,Harry,Harry ............ This latest incident might be over but it won't be long until you'll stir up another. Good luck Lowndes County.


Article Comment Chris commented at 3/4/2009 6:17:00 PM:

YEAH! How dare Harry try to enforce the laws and keep that fine, moral upstanding credit to humanity Le'Roi from doing anything wrong. Another case of the man trying to keep another man down!
We all know what would have happened if the case was reversed and that Horrible Harry was trying to do something illegal!
That whole Brooks clan are some of the most moral, upstanding individuals that Lowndes County has ever produced! Credit to folks everywhere!


Article Comment jamie commented at 3/5/2009 9:10:00 AM:

Justice...are you seriously taking up for Leroy? What does that say about you? People like you are the reason that things never change. My momma calls these peole pot-stirrers. You ignore the facts of the argument and go right to the finger-pointing. Quit your crying over racism. That pendulum swings both ways my friend. These two do not like each other and it has been obvious for years. Neither one of these men seem to be very easy to get along with. However, Harry was doing his job. Before you point fingers to the racist, why don't you look at Leroy. He is probably the biggest racist of the board. He sure doesn't deserve any recognition for his 25 years of so-called "service." Justice, quit making everything a racist issue and open your eyes to the real problem. Leroy is a joke!


Article Comment A reader commented at 3/5/2009 9:55:00 AM:

Jamie, it's not a county supervisor's job to enforce the law. Leroy was certainly wrong, but I'm not convinced that Harry is completely innocent in this whole altercation either.


Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/5/2009 11:14:00 AM:

A reader...I completely agree with you. I also don't think that Harry is completely innocent. I have seen the way he runs things at those meetings. I just couldn't believe that Justice would completely ignore any fault that may lie with Leroy and point her finger at Harry as the sole problem. She is stirrng the pot!


Article Comment justice commented at 3/5/2009 11:51:00 AM:

I am entitled to my own opinions Jamie if i were a racist that means i would be going after Leroy but that is not the case! Both have issues but i watch the meetings and Harry is a fake he does things intentionally and he knows how to tick leroy off and it seems like he enjoys doing it but i will pray for both!!


Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/5/2009 12:23:00 PM:

Justice, I think I, too will also pray for both. You are right...they do push each others buttons and you are entitled to your own opinion. However in this specific case, I feel like that Leroy was more at fault. He turned their usual verbal arguments into something physical. My point is I don't believe that this was racially motivated. I think that race gets blamed for so much these days. I just think they have a genuine dislike for one another. It is just ashame that they cannot put their differences aside for the sake of their constiuents.


Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/5/2009 2:37:00 PM:

I just wanted to add that I read more about this altercation and it looks like that both men were physical. I didn't know that before. My stance doesn't change though, I wish they could just put aside their differences, but since they obviously cannot, they should both resign.


Article Comment bossdawg commented at 3/5/2009 2:49:00 PM:

I say let's give them both some boxing gloves and have a celebrity supervisor boxing match for charity. This event will make more money than either could spend in a budget year. People would pay lots of money to watch these two fools beat the sausage out of one another.


Article Comment justice commented at 3/5/2009 5:04:00 PM:

well said Jamie :)


Article Comment Chris commented at 3/5/2009 6:28:00 PM:

Major typo in that flyer...someone stuck the work "HONORABLE" in it. Must have slipped by the Thompson/Brooks' individual camps.


Article Comment James Clayton Terry commented at 3/17/2009 2:59:00 PM:

I'd like to kick Leroy's butt for throwing me under the bus.


Article Comment Terry James commented at 3/17/2009 3:13:00 PM:

Does anyone else see the absolute lunacy in honoring the two biggest crooks in the state of Mississippi, for 25 years of corruption and malfeasance-race baiting and agitation. If anything, at the very least Leroy should have been fired a long time ago, but you go back to the corruption thing (you know "the Hunt box"). This is a joke, a sad, sad joke. Thanks Harry for standing up to Loser Leroy. You are my hero.


Article Comment Steve Schlicht commented at 3/20/2009 7:44:00 AM:

Since the word "atheist" seems to be synonymous with an insult by these two leaders of the community, it is my view that we still have far to go as a human family to understand that it is both reasonable and rational to disbelieve in any of the purported God(s)ess(es).

Of course, becoming physical over the posting of a bulletin really was the first clue that more effort should be put into attaining those two basic traits anyway.

I hope more than just one lesson is learned here.

Steve Schlicht
Biloxi MS


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