County commissioner still finds himself in crosshairs of critics, also has supporters

Covington County Commission addresses controversial comments by commissioner
Covington County Commission addresses controversial comments by commissioner(Source: WSFA)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 12:58 PM CDT
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By Bryan Henry | July 14, 2020 at 3:09 PM CDT - Updated July 14 at 11:09 PM

COVINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The controversy surrounding a Covington County commissioner took a bizarre turn Tuesday in Andalusia and it doesn’t appear to be over.

During the regular county commission meeting, two people spoke in full support of commissioner Tony Holmes.

“An attempt to hijack a commission meeting to defame a man who has devoted his life to serving his fellow man,” said supporter and local radio station owner Blaine Wilson.

Others who were troubled by his social media post chose not to speak because they were not allowed to speak beyond the 3 minute rule. The commissioner is under fire for making what some believe were racist comments on his personal Facebook post. The comments were in regards to the shooting of a Mobile police officer some time ago.

“We had two other people actually scheduled. Both of them were here, but for whatever reason they chose not to speak,” said Covington County Commission Chairman Greg White. “We were going to allow two from both sides to discuss the issue and they withdrew for some reason I don’t really know why.”

“And they get up there and they just say we want two people, three people and you can only speak for so long and those rules aren’t written anywhere. I think Tony should step down. He does not believe he’s a racist,” said Covington County Democratic Chairperson Harriet Hubbard.

“I could go on what a good, honorable man Tony Holmes is but most of you agree he’s all of those things,” said local developer Michael Jackson Jr.

Much like the last county commission meeting, commissioner Holmes declined an interview saying he stands by the lengthy statement he gave last month.

“In 2014, a friend of mine posted an article on social media concerning a Mobile, AL police officer being shot and killed by a habitual offender who was out on early release due to the Alabama Prison Reform Act. The matter of prison reform, that results in violent criminals being released early from prison years – even decades – early, is a matter I feel strongly about. Let me be very clear, I am against the early release for violent criminals.

Commissioner Holmes’ statement in June to the Andalusia Star-News

Commissioner Holmes has said he will not apologize and will not step down. The county commission meets again on July 28.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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