WJXT-TV (Jacksonville, Florida), August 23, 2008
Some are questioning whether a top city leader showed favoritism when he ordered crews to help a “single woman” cope during the storm. That single woman was U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D- Jacksonville.
During the height of Tropical Storm Fay, when many Jacksonville residents were trying to keep rising water out of their homes or dealing with fallen trees and power lines, the city sent a public works crew to put sandbags around the Brown’s home along the Trout River.
Brown denied getting special treatment, telling Channel 4 that she’s like any other citizen who had an emergency. She said that when her roof caved in and water flooded her home, she called the city for help.
Neighbor Joe Deloach lives one door down from Brown and he too has rising waters flooding the foundation of his home. He said when he saw the city with prisoners sandbagging the congresswoman’s home, he naturally asked for the same help but didn’t get the same response.
“I’m glad she got help to save her house. I’m not mad at that. I’m upset that the same people wouldn’t help me and they denied it was going on,” Deloach said. “I had prisoners laughing at me when I approached them about it. They knew what was going on. It was hilarious to them.”
Adam Hollingsworth, chief of staff for Mayor John Peyton, told Channel 4 he authorized city crews to go help Brown when she reached him on Friday. He said he helped because she’s “a single woman who lives in her own house” and he could hear the panic in her voice.