Longtime Columbus political activist Sarah Deloach was arrested by agents of the Social Security Administration on Monday, picked up on a charge that she had reportedly been continuing to receive and cash her mothers social security check after her mother had passed away over a year ago.
Deloach has long been involved in local politics, especially around election time. Candidates would hire her to help in their campaigns (in the black community) to deliver votes on election day. After Jackie Ball died, Deloach became the go-to person to help deliver votes during local elections. Similar to Ball, Deloach could help deliver large blocks of black voters, or could be hired to just not hurt a candidate. And she was very effective in doing so. As with Ball, if a candidate was really serious about being elected, they’d usually have to deal with Deloach one way or another.
Deloach was carried by agents to the Lowndes County jail, Monday, where she reportedly spent the night and was held until federal marshal’s picked her up on Tuesday to be transported to Aberdeen and face charges of federal social security fraud. Deloach was released Tuesday and had obtained a court-appointed attorney out of Oxford.
Deloach has complained to friends that while she was detained in Aberdeen on federal charges, she wasn’t allowed to wear her wig while being photographed and booked. She claimed two other ladies being held for federal arrest were allowed to keep theirs on. I made an attempt to speak with Ms. Deloach on Wednesday, but she was feeling down and depressed and refused to speak with me.
Officials feel that the act of continuing to receive social security checks for a relative who has passed is much more common than thought. It is, reportedly, a huge drain on the system.
Columbus City Council Takes Action Against Saggy Pants
At Tuesday’s Columbus City Council meeting, the council passed an ordinance (4 to 2 in favor of. RW) against sagging pants, joining Tupelo and other communities who have taken similar action. Although Ward 3 City Councilman Charlie Box, Ward 1 City Councilman Gene Taylor, Ward 4 City Councilman Fred Stewart and Ward 6 City Councilman Bill Gavin deserve kudos for doing so (It should be noted that Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem and Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens, though generally in favor of some type of action, voted against the motion because Karriem supported having a public hearing to gather citizen input rather than proceed with an ordinance at this time. Columbus Mayor Robert Smith only votes in case of ties but voiced his support for the action. RW)
It’ll be interesting to see if the measure is just window-dressing, or actually something that can be enforced. I listened to a portion of Kabir Karriem’s radio show on WTWG Tuesday before the council meeting. Karriem was taking calls about the issue. While some callers were concerned about the proposed ordinance being a reason to attack or harass black teens, others opined that something needed to be done about the saggy pants. On Wednesday’s radio program, Karriem opened his program noting that the council voted in favor of the saggy pants ordinance, but claimed the issue was a smokescreen to overshadow redistricting in the city, which he says is the real issue at hand.
Karriem admitted that he has, time and again, asked youth to “pull up their pants”. Other callers to the radio program, as well as many posters on the Columbus, Ms. Facebook Watch group, have also noted that women should be included in the ordinance. That women who walk around in skimpy clothing with breast and buttocks revealed are just as disgusting. In reality, it all comes back to an indecent exposure law that is already on the books. The new ordinance would likely be an extension of that existing law.
The new law should take effect in 30 days. Fines can range between $75-$250 and possibly include community service, but no arrest or jail time.
Columbus, Ms. Facebook Watch Group Take Concerns Before City Council
Lynn Sanders Nordquist and Mac Martin went before the Columbus City Council Tuesday evening with their concerns about crime in Columbus. Nordquist asked the mayor and council to work with the Facebook group and the council will form a committee to look into it. Martin spoke, eloquently, about his concerns and how Columbus residents of all colors need to come together and address crime in our town. Mayor Robert Smith assured cooperation from the mayor and council.
Leroy Brooks Wants An i-Phone
District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks has reportedly been asking County Administrator Ralph Billingsley for a county-issued I-Phone. Billingsley has supposedly been steadfast in not granting his wishes. While state auditors were present this week, Brooks reportedly went in Billingsley’s office and demanded that the administrator order him a phone, telling him he wasn’t asking, he was demanding. Those nearby could hear Brooks cursing Billingsley and making comments about how Billingsley worked for him (Brooks).
Brooks already carries a county-issued Blackberry, which is a luxury phone to many.
At last check, no i-Phone had been ordered for Brooks.
Ron Williams can be reached by email at Ronsings2you@aol.com