SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Mayor Eddie DeLoach called a press conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 30, to announce a special City Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. He said the purpose of the meeting is to ask the council to support his motion of censure for Alderman Tony Thomas for his behavior.
“Alderman Thomas has left me no choice,” says Mayor DeLoach.
DeLoach said he spoke with the alderman after hearing about a comment he made to a reporter on Saturday. He said Thomas made an “unacceptable, sexist, vulgar comment toward a reporter. His language and behavior are unacceptable for any member of the public especially someone holding elected office.”
“He also claimed that he would make the same comment again if given the chance,” adds the Mayor.
Censure is a form of punishment the council can use on a member. It is one of two forms of punishment the council may use on a council member. It’s a statement criticizing a member’s actions and it serves as a warning.
“It gives you something to strive for, to do better at, to realize what you’ve done is unacceptable to the entire community and if you’re going to represent me then you’re going to have to do better,” says the Mayor.
News 3 reached out to the alderman for comment, but he did not return our calls.
The mayor noted what he calls “a downward spiral of Alderman Thomas” and referred to an incident from the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
“It’s going to do me good because I, you can only do so much, but whatever you can do you need to do,” says Mayor DeLoach.
We asked the Mayor about the issue of now Thomas’ residence. His comments were made to the news reporter as she was covering the story of his 6th District home being foreclosed. Public data bases do not show Thomas has any other permanent residence in the district.
“If you run in that district you’re supposed to live in that district,” DeLoach says.
The Mayor believes the Board of Elections should get involved if it is found that the Alderman does not reside in the district anymore. We heard from the Board chair and he believes an official complaint has to go into the clerk of council’s office for there to be an investigation. He adds that the call to remove the alderman from office because of residence would have to be requested by the clerk.
A special meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 5 in the afternoon to consider the adoption of a resolution on censorship of Alderman Tony Thomas.