Henri Brooks' seat must be vacated - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Henri Brooks' commission seat must be vacated after residency investigation

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
The county confirmed an investigation was underway into whether Brooks actually lives in District 2 last week. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) The county confirmed an investigation was underway into whether Brooks actually lives in District 2 last week. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)

(WMC) - An investigation revealed that Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks lives somewhere other than county commission district two, which is the southwest community she was elected to serve.

Shelby County Attorney Marcy Ingram said that the commission should immediately declare Brooks' seat vacant and all her salary and benefits should end. The county charter says a seat is forfeited after a voluntary change of residence outside the district, according to an email to county commission chairman James Harvey.

"When it has been determined that an elected official has 'ceas[ed] to be a resident of the … district … for which [she] was elected,' her seat is vacated pursuant to state law," wrote Ingram.

Officials confirmed a residency investigation was underway last week. 

Brooks referenced a new address at 1867 Crump in 2010 when she filed her campaign financial disclosure statement. Records showed some type of utilities on the Crump residence were in the name of Robert Brown. The investigation discovered utility services in Brooks' name at a home in Cordova, which is district four. According to the Shelby County Assessor's website, the warranty deed for the Cordova address is in the name of Chanda Brooks.

Ingram contacted Brooks for an interview, but she declined. At least three neighbors on Crump said a man with the last name Brown, who was also not available for an interview, lived in the house at 1867. Read the full investigation here: http://bit.ly/Vlvbbw.

A replacement search could start as soon as tomorrow. Brooks has two months left to serve.

Brooks, who is running for juvenile court clerk, released a letter to the public after the investigation was launched, saying justice has been targeted.

"We are standing up and fighting for families, children and women and for justice throughout the system. I am speaking truth to power about the public policy decisions that economically affect our community and entrap our children in poverty," she said.

Commissioner Terry Roland says the commission is asking for an investigation into whether Brooks needs to pay back her $29,000 annual salary.

Brooks has been in the news many times in recent weeks. The 65-year-old surrendered herself to Jail East after a simple assault warrant was issued. Brooks was booked on that charge.

According to an incident report, a woman was trying to pull into a parking space at Methodist University Hospital. Before she pulled into the space, police say Brooks "whipped her vehicle around hers and into the parking space." The police report says the victim swerved to avoid a collision, ran over a curb, and hit a tree with her back bumper.

Brooks has also been in the news recently for marking a controversial comment saying Hispanics shouldn't qualify as minority contractors in an area with so many African-Americans.

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