Day 126: Conduct Unbecoming: Tony Thomas Fires the Shot Heard 'Round Town
Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin has announced that he's suspended Cpl. Daryle McCormick for stealing cash and electronics from an undercover storefront while he was working with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. For nine years McCormick reported directly to former Chief Willie Lovett, and while working together the corporal used Task Force funds to gift the chief a cell phone and pay off his bill, gave him a computer, and stocked the chief's bar full of liquor. Lumpkin ended his announcement with an apology to the People of Savannah and Chatham County, emphasizing that McCormick is a throwback to the SCMPD of the past and that such conduct will not be tolerated from this day forward.
But before the applause for Lumpkin's announcement subsided, Alderman Tony Thomas blew up his Facey page with a full frontal assault of Mayor Edna Jackson, City Manager Stephanie Cutter, City Attorney Brooks Stillwell, and his fellow council members who had supported Lovett from the get-go and stood by him until the bitter end, referring to the former chief as a "sorry son of a bitch". Thomas did not stop there: "We paid a lot of money for an outside investigation to which little or nothing was done...just another cover-up," was the way Tony summed up Cutter's reaction to the police scandal.
Thomas went even further in perfecting his complaint in regard to the attorney fees paid by the City for the Batson-Cook fiasco, saying that Mayor Jackson has totally ignored his request for information and disclosure. Jackson's failure to comply has given rise to Alderman Tom Bordeaux filing a Freedom Of Information request in order to squeeze the details out of Jackson's new Legal Department. "All this talk about being 'open and transparent' is just a bunch of BS," Tony writes, and his Facey friends are howling their approval.
Not that Tony doesn't have his own scandals to brook: the Coffee Bluff Marina debacle and details of his private life which are going public in ways that are unfortunate and embarrassing.
The end result of Tony's attacks point to the larger problem that Team Edna has in this election year. Now that Tommy Bordeaux has already announced that he will not seek re-election and Tony Thomas has fled Team Edna like a rat deserting a sinking ship, that leaves the embattled and embarrassed Mary Ellen Sprague, who has been disgraced by the Dave Simons bribery scandal, as the last remaining white council member on Team Edna.
If Mary Ellen seriously intends to keep her seat, she's going to have to come to the same realization as Bordeaux and Thomas that Edna's is a losing proposition and that Savannah has had it up to here with the stink that grows worse on a daily basis from the scandal du jour. Otherwise, Will Cubbedge will be around to remind the fat and happy 4th district that Sprague has been the head cheerleader for Team Edna since the sad start to this madministration.
It's Time, Savannah, for Change. When a sitting alderman tells you that something stinks downtown, it's game over for this regime. Do your duty and vote 'em out. Let's get on with it, for godsake.