School Board Chair indicted, threatened - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School Board Chair indicted, threatened

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October 9, 2003

Cuthbert-- The Chairman of the Randolph County School Board is facing criminal charges. Henry Cook was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury for violating the Open Meetings Act when he removed a man from a school board meeting.

But that's not all Cook has to worry about. Several weeks ago, he received a death threat in the mail. He thinks the incidents are related.

Surrounded by NAACP leadership, Henry Cook reads from a copy of the death threat he received on September 29th that's now in the hands of the GBI and FBI, "Your name and biography has been submitted to our Board of Directors for review. The Board has decided you are to be eliminated with extreme prejudice."

The typed letter goes on to say that a person, called "The Hammer of Thor", has been chosen to murder Cook, and that Cook "must get all of his business affairs in order very soon" because "the Hammer of Thor will not be long coming" his way. It's signed by the "Royal Order of the Arean Nation."  Aryan is misspelled.

"Somebody's crazy." That was Cook's reaction when he read the threat.

Cook thinks it's related to a series of controversial decisions he has made recently, including removing a man from a July School Board meeting who was videotaping it. He was indicted Tuesday by the grand jury for violating the Open Meetings Act when he kicked the man out, "We are going to pursue this through the proper channels of court and we think the indictment is totally frivolous."

Frivolous or not, Cook says what's important is for the public to be aware that terrorist threats exist here in South Georgia--and says he is a target. Congressman Sanford Bishop contacted the FBI for their help in the case. Cook thinks he knows who sent the threats, and their names have been given to investigators.

Posted at 4:02 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com