City councilman sued over racist email

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From: Memphis Action News 5

A city councilman accused of sending a racist email was censured Tuesday after a vote by the Helena-West Helena City Council.

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The email stated, “city officials are monkeys running a zoo.”

Marvin Jerrett, a council member, said he wanted his colleague, Joe St. Columbia, to explain the email.

Columbia told the council that he received an email with a news story about the city’s budget. He claims that email also had the monkey and zoo reference on it. He said he just forwarded it.

“I saw it on there and didn’t pay any attention. I didn’t see anything wrong with it.”

The mayor did not want to discuss the matter at the council meeting, but Jarrett called for a vote to censure St. Columbia and it passed.