Jailer now must wait to appeal her firing

Athens Banner-Herald, Georgia/June 13, 2007
By Joe Johnson


One of four Clarke County Sheriff's Office jailers fired in November because their alleged black-supremacist activities undermined jail security will have to wait until later this summer to see if she can win back her job.

Rena Jennings was scheduled to make her case before a county personnel hearing officer Tuesday, but the hearing was postponed because the hearing officer wasn't available, according to the Athens-Clarke Department of Human Resources.

The hearing hadn't been rescheduled, and the earliest it likely will be held would be sometime in August, a department spokeswoman said.

Jennings is a purported member of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, a sect headed by Dwight "Malachi" York, who is serving a 135-year federal prison sentence after a jury convicted him in 2004 of racketeering, money laundering, and multiple child molestation charges.

The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Nuwaubians as a "black separatist" hate group.

York had a mansion in Athens and his followers lived in a sprawling compound in Eatonton where, according to the law center, "York told his followers they were building a sovereign nation where they would be free from the influence of white 'devils.' "

York sexually molested children of his followers both in Athens and at the Putnam County compound, federal prosecutors said.

Sheriff's officials identified five deputies as York's followers, and after an investigation determined the deputies threatened jail security because, among other things, they urged black inmates to rebel against white deputies.

The Nuwaubian deputies also allegedly recruited inmates into the cult, and one wrote to York at the maximum-security prison in Colorado prison where York is housed, telling the cult leader he was "fighting" for York's freedom.

One of the deputies was allowed to resign, but four were fired. Three deputies already have appealed, and Personnel Hearing Officer Denny Galis upheld two of the firings.

He ordered the sheriff's office to reinstate Deputy Bobby Dixon - who Galis said deserved discipline but not termination for violating jail policies.

Dixon returned to work at the jail in April.















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