Former City Council contender Sara Coffey, proprietor of Coffey’s Bail Bonds and Private Investigations in Henderson, addressed the Henderson City Council yesterday evening concerning a message on the local Ku Klux Klan Hotline.
According to Coffey, the hotline is owned and operated by Howard Bobbitt of 926 Weldon Road in Henderson. Although a search of the telephone directory associated the hotline with the above address, additional investigation by Home in Henderson revealed that the property is actually in Franklin County with a Henderson mailing address.
It could not be confirmed that Howard Bobbitt owns or controls the hotline. Further, Home in Henderson could not confirm that Bobbitt owns 926 Weldon Road or resides at the address listed for the hotline. The Franklin County government Web site lists the owners of the property as Bobbitt, C.D. Heirs c/o Charles H. Bobbitt.
Coffey told the council that she had written a letter to the editor of The Daily Dispatch. She asked in that letter that the number be removed from the telephone directory.
Coffey then played a recording of the message from the KKK Hotline. The recording, clearly infused with highly negative racial statements, made reference to Coffey. As a matter of editorial policy, Home in Henderson will not print specific examples of statements made in the recording.
The former candidate for City Council, who lost in October to council member Bernard Alston, then read a mission statement into the record: “To expose and eradicate our city and county of racial biases, racial intimidation and inflammatory hate crimes aimed at keeping ALL of our minorities defeated and oppressed.”
Coffey concluded her presentation by asking the council to pass a resolution against the KKK and to direct Police Chief Glen Allen to investigate the matter with the objective of bringing charges against Howard Bobbitt.
During the committee report section of the meeting, Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert attempted to assign the matter to the Human Resources Committee. That committee is chaired by council member Mary Emma Evans. Evans declined to accept the charge, stating, “I don’t know who the members are. The people I go to could be members.”
It was decided to refer the matter to the intergovernmental Human Relations Committee.
Council member Bernard Alston told the council that if all the KKK is doing is talking, there is not a whole lot that can be done.