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Leroy Brooks’ Conduct In Question…Again!

Ron Williams

It’s been going on for years! District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks, with nearly 30 years of public service to his credit, goes off on a rage now and then – a rage that has grown old, weary, tiresome and very disgraceful.

Last week, I reported to you that Supervisor Brooks pitched a hissy fit in the office of County Administrator Ralph Billingsley. Brooks had been asking for a county-issued I-Phone, when he already had a county-issued Blackberry in his possession. Supervisors and other county personnel have long been afforded county-issued cell phones with the taxpayers footing the bill. And well they should have those phones so that constituents and taxpayers (who pay their salaries and pay for their phones and the bill that accompanies them) can contact them. But I-Phones are considered a luxury. Even a Blackberry could be considered a luxury to an extent. Where do we draw the line in extending added perks to elected or appointed public officials?

But an issue even more pressing than the possible abuse of taxpayer money is the conduct of some of our public officials…in this case, Leroy Brooks. Brooks reportedly cursed Billingsley when he told Brooks he wouldn’t be ordering him an I-Phone. He ranted and raved so much, a state auditor heard the encounter. At one point during the rant, Billingsley tried to speak, only to be told by Brooks, “I didn’t say you could speak!” Brooks reportedly reminded Billingsley that he “worked for him”.

Might be a good time to remind Supervisor Brooks that Billingsley works for the board of supervisors, not just him! The board speaks as a body, not one supervisor. No county employee should ever be subjected to verbal abuse such as his. It has been mused by some that Billingsley makes a mighty hefty salary to take such abuse, but regardless his salary, he shouldn’t have to sit and listen to someone screaming and cursing at him under any circumstances. He shouldn’t be subject to threats or verbal abuse of any kind. That type of behavior is neither funny or amusing in any way. And it applies to all county employee’s equally.

At the next board meeting, Brooks will have something to say about this column, as he usually does. That’s ok. I’m a big boy, I can take it. But Ralph Billingsley and other county employee’s don’t have too. His shenanigans need to stop once and for all. Everyone is tired of it and although it gives the media something to write about, enough is enough!

Bernard Buckhalter’s CVB Board Appointment Expires July 3rd

Buckhalter Still Working For Starkville Wendys At Last Check

About a year ago, the Columbus City Council appointed Bernard Buckhalter to the Columbus/Lowndes Conventions and Visitors Bureau board. Buckhalter was appointed to the position on the board that represents the restaurant industry in Columbus. At the time, Buckhalter was an Assistant Manager at one of the Columbus Wendys Restaurants. Since then, Buckhalter has been working at the Wendys in Starkville. (I’ve seen him working the window on several occasions and as of Sunday night, May 13th he was still there, as he handed me my order that night. RW).

Buckhalter’s board position is coming up for reappointment on July 3rd. As of Wednesday, Buckhalter is the only person who has applied for the position. I’ve asked this before and will again. Mr. Buckhalter is working at an out of town restaurant while representing taxpayer’s interest here in Columbus. Is this fair? While there may not be a rule that those applying for the position must work in Columbus, there probably should be.

Columbus Police Department Announces Promotions

After much criticism from many about the lack of police promotions (including this columnist. RW), Chief Selvain McQueen and the CPD announced promotions of 4 police officers at the last council meeting. They were: Donnie Elkin, promoted from corporal to sergeant. Rick Jones, promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. John Duke, promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. And James Grant, also promoted from sergeant to lieutenant.

Though neither have verified, a source told me that at least one or more of these officers obtained legal representation before being promoted.

Columbus, Ms Facebook Watch Group Gains Forum With City Officials

As a result of going before the Columbus City Council during its meeting of Tuesday, May 15th, the Columbus Facebook Watch group has been afforded an opportunity to meet with city officials to discuss crime prevention in the city. The meeting has been set for Thursday, May 31st at 6 p.m. at The Municipal Complex. Lynn Sanders Nordquist and administrators and members of the watch group will meet to discuss ways to work with the city and the police department to better deter crime in Columbus. Nordquist is planning on having prepared questions from those with concerns about crime and discussing those questions with Police Chief Selvain McQueen and other city officials.
In the meantime, Nordquist will be asking members to submit questions ahead of time for possible discussion at the meeting.

‘Saggy Pants’ Ordinance Comes About By Suggestion of Columbus Resident Margaret Evans

It was Columbus resident Margaret Evans suggestion to Ward 3 City Councilman Charlie Box that brought forth discussion of the recently approved ‘Saggy Pants’ ordinance. Though that ordinance was approved at the May 15th council meeting, it must be brought up and voted on again after 30 days. That will fall on the Tuesday, June 19th Columbus City Council meeting to be held at the Municipal Complex.

Ron Williams can be reached by email at Ronsings2you@aol.com

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27 comments

  1. Ron, if anyone ever gets one of these tirades on audio or video and needs a site to host it, let me know. For historical posterity, of course. Wink, wink.

  2. It’s about time the citizens get rid of that jerk! I didn’t like him for his antics back in 1995 and I’m sure I wouldn’t like his antics now. Obviously he’s escaped the justice due him as all his other council members did that sat with him back in 1995.

  3. Shirley Ryan-Fields

    WHY IS MR. BROOKS A DISGRACE TO LOWNDES COUNTY? MR. BROOK IS SPEAKING WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAID TO YOU PEOPLE, AND YES I SAID YOU PEOPLE THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TALK ABOUT HIM FOR ALONG TIME. DIDN’T YOU SPEAK TO ALL BLACKS THAT WAY SOMETIME AGO AND STILL DO. HE IS NOT A JERK,HE IS A MAN THAT IS NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK.MY HOME IS COLUMBUS,BUT HATE TO TELL ME PEOPLE.YOU HAVE TAKEN ALL THE BLACKS SCHOOLS AWAY AND THERE IS NO IMPROVEMENT IN COLUMBUS,SO DO WHAT YOU PEOPLE DO BEST…——————–

  4. Betty McClanahan

    I always hear Brooks’ black constituents reelect him each time, whether true or not. However, why would anyone want an unfunny clown like Brooks to represent them? Just because he’s black? What black, white, purple, whatever, color the voter, would want an abuser, neanderthal,lunatic, tyrant….all the above, to represent them? It must just be stupid people who keep a stupid person in office (all these years) when they’d have to be deaf and blind to be unaware of his shenanigans. He certainly isn’t in there to help his constituents—-he’s in office on a power trip to build up his pathetic ego. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself….he proves that over and over!! If he cared about his district, his city, his county, he wouldn’t act like a bellowing jackass!!! An intelligent person would not have to behave as Brooks does, to be a public official. For the sake of Columbus’ reputation, please use more wisdom in your vote. Voting is a privilege. Use it to vote the sorry excuse of a supervisor out of office by electing someone else…anybody else. Well, at least start with him, and we will continue to clean house as needed.

  5. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    YOU HAVE TAKEN ALL THE BLACKS SCHOOLS AWAY…

    Finally, a black someone realizes that they’ve been duped into believing that sitting in a classroom next to a white person will bring “equality.”

    Louis Farrakhan doesn’t believe it!

  6. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    Anyone know if former District 4 Supervisor Jim Terry ever went to prison over that minor gasoline flap during Katrina.

    With all the accoladesthat have been heaped on Roger and the Packet, there is, IMHO, one blight spot on that record:that is Roger’s malicious campaign to target District 4 Supervisor Jim Terry over that unwarranted use of gasoline in a private vehicle. Roger made it a “cause celebre” and probably damaged any chances for redemption. Terry lost on appeal to the MSSC. I asked Jim Terry why Roger targeted him and he said that he(Terry) has LIED to Roger and that Roger never forgave him.

    Instead of jail time, why didn’t the judge sentence Jim to community service, making him theMississippi Posterboy for Casino Gambling Addiction. A more just sentence would have been for Mr. Terry to have traveled around the State, warning students of the follies of casino gambling. But a county ruled by a hard-nosed, military tribunal-like judiciary within a failed State that depends on revenue from the Casinos and the sales of alcoholic beverages, that was never in the cards. Don’t wanna’ kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

    I’d like to see Jim Terry make a political comeback;after all, he’s got kin on ALL sides..Anglo Saxon, African and Choctaw.

    And he doesn’t speak with a forked-tongue! Except that one time to Roger the Impaler.

  7. I don’t share the thought that Roger Larsen put any more time or effort into covering Jim Terry than he did anyone else in local politics. I had no connection to the Packet, but I usually sat in the seat next to Roger at government meetings since the early 80s.
    Roger made mistakes, just as the Dispatch has done for years, but he has been nothing if not meticulous about covering people who control our local governments.
    He was relentless about past annexations, he never let up on the infamous Fannon-Ball gym scheme, covered all manner of government transgressions in the Hayslett, Wade, Rupp and Fannon administrations.
    I was sitting beside Roger when Jackie Ball leaned over from his chair at the cramped council table and shook a copy of the Packet at Roger, telling him he could end up in a ditch in some neighborhoods for printing the things he did in the Packet.
    When Roger was covering Jim Terry in his time on the BOS, writing about Jim’s trips to casinos and such, he was also writing about Leroy’s use of his county vehicle on trips to teaching jobs, even taking photos of mileage through the windows of Leroy’s county vehicle. In fact, Roger was writing more about Leroy before, during and after Jim Terry’s term on the board than he was about Jim, only Leroy has had time to build contacts at the state, and maybe national, level that Jim didn’t have. Leroy has always had a thin coating of Teflon that Jim never had the time to grow and cultivate.
    Ultimately, it wasn’t Roger that did Jim in. Leroy was a bigger cause of Jim’s loss than Roger Larsen was. Jim had made the one error, the one mistake no one is allowed to ever make on the BOS. As the only other African-American on the board, near the end of his term, Jim apparently thought he was Leroy’s equal. Big mistake. Not once in the thirty years I was attending government meetings did Leroy get along well with any other African-Americans on the BOS. It didn’t take long before some one would have to either accept a position as being only there to back Leroy up, or risk disagreeing with Leroy’s inevitable crossing a line and be labeled a traitor and have Leroy and his election troops work against them in the next election.
    Surely you must remember the unforgettable fights the two of them had. If you don’t remember, ask someone. Watching the two of them shouting at each other, apparently Jim was the only who didn’t know he wasn’t going to be coming back again.

  8. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    Judge from the facts presented by attorney Waide and Terry’s expert IRS defense witness in the appeal to MS court of appeals.

    No “smoking gun” or “trout in the milk” prosecution evidence that I have seen. But then, I never has an agenda in that fight.

    http://tinyurl.com/6s5vg9n

  9. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    ~SNIP~

    … Terry’s testimony that he was not making any excessive personal use of the vehicle was
    corroborated by his expert witness, retired Internal Revenue Service agent, Timmy
    Millis
    , who testified that based upon his examination of the records, Terry did not
    utilize the county vehicle to a greater extent in weeks when he made trips to the
    casino, than he did on weeks when he did not make trips to the casino. T. 402-03.

    Also, Millis testified there was no indication of any criminal intent by Terry, since
    Terry had made records of his trips to the casino, and had not attempted to hide in any
    way the fact that he was a frequent gambler, or to conceal that he was going to a casino. Millis testified: “He used his Fuelman card on his county vehicle and used his player card when he was at the gambling casinos.” T. 403-04.

    SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT

    The State’s proof at trial was that on numerous specific dates, Terry had used
    the county vehicle for personal purposes, mostly gambling trips. However, the
    indictment gives no notice whatsoever of these specific dates, nor does the indictment
    reveal a particular private use, such as gambling.It was impossible to prepare the
    case for trial without knowing the specific dates of alleged illegal activity, and without knowing precisely what specific personal activity the State was alleging.

    Terry’s rights under the Mississippi and United States Constitutions to be given
    notice of the charges were violated.

  10. paul eggleston

    In reading about Leroy Brooks and Jim Terry, I truly wish that the residents of Columbus, and Lowndes County, could please, focus on the real problems of our community.
    I am certain that we can all agree that, our children is our future, and we only want what is best for them. But think about it, our city changes School Superintendents on a regular basis. Not to mention our lengthy search for a Police Chief, and a number of other important leaders. However, we always looked outside for the qualified, only to find them gone before long; Which, we all know that most of them did not leave broke.
    It is time for us as citizens, parents and adult, to cast our votes, and DETERMINE who represents us as a whole. Do not be mislead, we also have a voice in accepting or rejecting the appointment of public servants.
    Now, I want to take a look back at some issues of equality, in our community. It was published in the local news that Jim Terry and Kamaal Karriem, both being public servant, had some problems; I do not know. However, I do know that there was a Police officer, who was accused by the (This I listened to on the scanned…myself) Police department, of Burglary, crashing a city vehicle after a high speed chase, and the word drugs and shot gun was used. The two (2) aforementioned, was sentenced and served time in prison. However, the latter mentioned, (I am of the opinion) is presently on the force. WHO IS HE?
    For those of you reading this, lets not take offense. Just take a closer look around you, so that you can be better informed … to make a more rational decision regarding electing and accepting public representatives.

  11. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    SNIP

    …Auditor Hill- Watts admitted that if one counted as illegal purchases only those
    times when gas was purchased in casino towns, the amount involved would be less than $500.00
    . 3 T.252. Furthermore, the amount would be even less, if one included
    only those occasions when there were records of gambling activity on the same dates
    as gas was purchased in a town where a casino was located. T.256.

    Tracy Hill-Watts testified that it was her opinion that anytime Mr. Terry purchased gas outside of Lowndes County, there was an illegal use of the vehicle.
    T. 256.

    However, if one counted only the gas purchases outside of Lowndes County,
    it is clear that there would still be less than $500.00 in controversy
    .T. 256, Exhibit

    ‘Embezzlement is a felony if more than $500.00 is involved. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-23-

    The cross-examination also made it clear that the State’s case depends entirely
    upon the theory that a gas purchase, either on the same day as there was a trip to the
    casino, or near that date, amounts to use of the county vehicle for personal purposes.

    Most of Exhibit “9” consists of entries made when Terry actually purchased gas in
    Columbus, but made a trip to the casino either on the day of the gas purchase, the day before, or the day after. T. 261-63, Exhibit “9.”

    Testifying on his own behalf, Terry swore that it was his invariable practice
    that he would not take the county vehicle to a casino, when his sole purpose was
    taking a gambling trip. According to Terry, when he was going to a casino location
    solely for gambling purposes, he utilized his wife’s personal vehicle. He agreed that
    there were some occasions when he had taken the county vehicle to a city where
    gambling occurs, but always on those occasions, he had some other county purpose
    in mind, not gambling. T. 288-94; 295.
    Terry’s wife corroborated his testimony by
    testifying that they “didn’t go (to casinos) directly in the county vehicle … If
    something else was going on that we had to do in the county vehicle and we were in
    an area where a casino was, we have gone by there then. But we’ve never just gone
    directly to the casino in a car.” T.447.

  12. IANAL, so I’m not up on a trial proceeding. I was saying that the first time Jim got his back up and stood up to Leroy, his days were numbered on the board. Supervisor Brooks will never tolerate another African-American member of the board who doesn’t support and agree with him.
    Jim didn’t have the connections or contacts that Leroy has built up in his long tenure on the board. Mike Smith was a Brooks surrogate and, once the people saw that, Smith was toast in his next election. Smith was more supportive of Leroy than Jim was in the end.
    When Jimbo went off the Brooks reservation and started to give Leroy static, he was, politically speaking, walking dead. The people who watched Leroy and Jim’s fireworks shows knew Leroy would be having him replaced, but Jim didn’t seem to know it.

  13. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    This is beginning to look like Allgood’s Leroy’s Boy, too?

    The lack of law enforcement and criminal prosecution of known illegal drug distribution(not “pot’) in Districts Four and Five across the River, leads one to that conclusion.

    Checkout the LCSO arrest reports.

  14. I know a lot of people are probably going to take this the wrong way, but I’ve talked with Jim Terry in some pretty unguarded moments in the past. Jim made some mistakes in his foray into politics. He had some missteps, but everyone has had them, from mayors to presidents. As the state of MS. champion, who has run for more public offices without a single win than any other citizen, I’ve made more than my share.
    If Jim were to decide to try his hand in something like politics again, I hope he will realize how cheap the quick road of racial polarization is. It might get a person elected, might even keep them in office for 40 years, but it won’t lead to significant change. It’s like the difference between the quick flash money of selling drugs and the hard earned money from a real paycheck.
    In all Leroy’s years, other than laying claim to being the county’s longest running African-American politician, what else has Leroy done? What can he directly attribute to his being om the board as long as he’s been there? Nothing that I know of.
    If Jim can work across racial, religious, ethnic and gender lines, learn from people of all persuasions, involve people of all persuasions, bring together people of all persuasions, he will be light years ahead of Kabir Karriem, Leroy Brooks and other race biased politicians.
    Jim is not ignorant. He is a voracious reader and has a meticulous memory. He is articulate and is very creative. He is also an artist, which many people don’t know. I’ve spoken to Jim about many things and not once has he given me the impression he was suffering me as just another non-African-American. He didn’t talk down to me and didn’t talk over me.
    I would hope Jim will one day realize he doesn’t need Leroy or Kabir or polarizing people like that. He can stand on his own. Jim is young enough (I’m pretty sure he’s younger than I am) to still have the potential to make serious, long lasting changes in our community. If he makes a conscious choice and the effort.

  15. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    As the state of MS. champion, who has run for more public offices without a single win than any other citizen, I’ve made more than my share.~TG

    The Perennial Mississippi Candidate w/o A Win “prize” belongs to Shawn “sue the bastards” O’Hara! And he’s sued more people than Alan Dershowitz and Wil Colom, combined.

    I agree with all that you speak of Jim Terry.
    And he doesn’t speak with forked-tongue, Except that one time to Roger the Impaler. Maybe you can ask Roger about that incident.

    Jim Terry wasn’t convicted on the so-called evidence presented by then State Auditor Phil Bryant. He was convicted by the local press and dumb-downed Lowndes County jurors.

    Pfft!

  16. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    Why is he still around?? ….oooh yes because the idiots in his district keep voting for him!!!

    And because the LCSO won’t cross the line to take on the District Four & Five crime-linked “untouchables.” LCSO has a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” policy response–and there has been NO “change”– when criminal activity is reported west of the Tom.

    Leroy’s “chutzpah” is in part due to LCSO and the judiciary courting the “bloc” votes west of the Tom and not wanting to “rock the boat.” Justice west of the Tom takes a backseat to counting the bloc votes.

    And deep within Leroy Brooks’ and Howard Smart’s psyche, it’s all about “Payback Time.

  17. I know about O’Hara’s record, but while he might have run more times than I have, the difference between myself and Shawn is that I’ve run for more different offices than he has.
    Yes, I agree. As long as Leroy has the personal phone number of people in the civil rights division of the DoJ, no public official will risk taking him on.

  18. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    In order for Jimbo to run for public office, he’ll have to have his felony conviction expunged. The legislature has put obstacles into place to prevent convicted felons from voting, owning firearms and running for public office–listing twenty-one “crimes” that qualify for the legislature’s “double jeopardy” Part II sentencing phase which follows completion of the court-ordered Part I that included the fines, jail terms and probation.
    And we already know how the demagogic, hard-nose former law enforcement officer, now governor, Phil Bryant feels about gubernatorial pardons.

    And, as a side note, Mississippi is the ONLY state in the Nation that does NOT allow jurors questions in some form in jury trials. However, not surprising, Texas does NOT allow juror’s questions in criminal cases.

  19. howard frady

    I can’t wait till Monday. Leroy has a big suprise coming. It will be a rip-rowing good time for all. Ron, thanks for telling about all the things going on that the other papers don’t or won’t print. As long as there are fools we will have little Leroys.

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