A funny thing happened when troubled Metro Councilwoman Judy Green appeared on the Simmons Saturday Morning Solutions program on WLOU-AM 1350. It’s a gospel station, and some of its programming, including this show, is underwritten by the Rev. Kevin Cosby’s St. Stephen Church, of which Green is a member.
The show offered Green yet another opportunity to defend her actions — hiring relatives for a jobs program, taking a bribe, using an assistant’s name to run up a $25K credit card debt. Her actions are the focus of an Ethics Commission complaint, which will be considered next week.
Thus far, I’m told, despite multiple media requests, the station is not releasing tape of the show. I called DeVone Holt, one of the hosts, (along with Gail Strange and Rev. Clay Calloway) on Wednesday and haven’t gotten a return call.
On the show, Green made some veiled negative inferences about her colleague, Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin. In attempting to defend herself against her ethics charges, Green talked about other members’ ethics problems, such as the one who “hired her grandson.” That was a reference to Shanklin, though she wasn’t mentioned by name and I’m told the hosts weren’t aware it was a covert attack on Shanklin.
About four years ago, Shanklin got some media attention when she hired a grandson in her office. But Shanklin sought the opinion of the ethics panel back then. So guess what happened?
Shanklin was listening to the show, and called in. And she slammed Green for making public comments about her. Which is why the media wants to get the tape. Since the station hasn’t yet released the tape of the catfight, some are naturally thinking the station, and the church, is involved in keeping the story quiet.
My source says Shanklin wanted to know why Green was attacking her, and explained that she did nothing wrong then and that it was unfortunate Green was trying to drag down another African-American.
Amidst the controversy, you might think that Green’s African-American colleagues would be rushing to her defense, but Shanklin, and Mary Woodridge and Cheri Bryant Hamilton are keeping quiet, at least publicly. But there’s no love lost for Green among any fellow Council members, a factor that will come into play when procedures begin, and they surely will now, to remove Green from office.
And since Green won’t resign, the charges are going to keep coming. There’s likely to be an audit of all of her spending in office, and don’t believe for a minute that the controversial payment scheme with the 100 Black Men group (in which she instructed the organization to ask for more than it needed, so she could direct some money at her whim) was a one-time deal.