Lashawnda Eggelletion responded this morning to my article about her father, Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion.
Seems my article was printed up by someone and sent to voters in Eggelletion's district. New Times wasn't notified of the mailer and didn't give permission for the reprinting (reprintings on other stories have occurred in the past and we generally don't act such things legally, since we, uh, fundamentally believe in free speech). I can only think that it was done by one of three men vying for Eggelletion's seat (the primary, of course, is tomorrow, so don't forget to vote).
The story is about Eggelletion's extramarital affair with Angie Sanders, who gave birth to Eggelletion's son 20 years ago. She says the sexual relationship began when she was 17 and Eggelletion was her teacher at Dillard High School (she says she served as his student aide for one period out of the day).
In essence, LaShawnda accuses Sanders of lying about the high school affair. She points to a couple of details she says were incorrect (more on that later) and claims that Sanders is delusional.
"The truth is that Angie had a fantasy about my father as a teenager and she fulfilled it later on in life by having an affair with him, when my parents were going through a very difficult transition," LaShawnda writes.
Read the article linked above and then read LaShawnda's response below (along with my comments):
------------------------------------- My family, friends and co-workers all received a copy of your New-Times article written by Bob Norman in your August 14- August 20, 2008 issue. The re- printing and mass distribution of the article, which read very much like a plot from the “Young and Restless”, was no doubt a ploy of my father’s opponents to tarnish his character and take away votes from people who are not educated on all the tactics of political hit men. In this case it is “Rev” Allen Jackson, who wants to be a County Commissioner and his new found girl-friend Angie Sanders, a woman who still has no resolution to a fairy tale romance she created in her delusional mind years ago.
I’m not sure why the New-Times would authorize such a re-printing of a one sided story whose details were not verified or even investigated. But, alas, facts don’t sell papers.
I do not know Allen Jackson. I do not know Angie Sanders. I have witnessed Allen Jackson attack my father with words that border on hatred and slander—all in a desperate effort to be a politician and “help people”. I have never met Angie’s son Omar. My prayers go out to him, as from what I have researched he is still experiencing some trouble with the law and may soon be imprisoned for a charge he is facing.
I do know that Angie Sanders and my father did indeed have a sexual relationship when she was married and when she became pregnant she allowed her husband to raise him without any knowledge of her affair or deceit. She was the only person who had knowledge that Omar was my father’s son, perhaps because she had planned it that way. The article stated that when her husband found out, “She remembers that he took it in stride.” In addition, Angie stated that he said “Well, I’ll feed him until he looks like me.” This made me laugh for at least 10 minutes. Does Mrs. Sanders actually think the general public is devoid of common sense. What man would take this kind of deceit in stride? How insulting! Most men would be devastated, angry or at least have some soul searching to do. Mr. Lockhart had no say in this article, so we don’t
truly know his reaction.
The article was clever. Angie has weaved a lot of details that she knows about my father into this delusional tale of teenage of love, adultery, and pure baby mama drama. She messed up on a lot of the details that she was trying to weave into her story however. For example, my father was not born in Tallahassee and has never lived there with his brothers or sisters. He was born and lived in Miami. That could have been checked, quite easily. She was never a student of his class. School board records are clear. My father never owned a Camaro Z-28. I owned a used Camaro and it was not a Z-28 (I could not afford that model), and I owned it 1986 when Sanders was 24 living with her husband in Atlanta. Mrs. Sanders younger brother would know this as he and my brother were good friends at the time of me owning the car. The Inverrary Golf Course fantasy was creative. My father started golfing when I was in high school and Mrs. Sanders was an adult living in Georgia. The bank story was also hilarious, as my mother’s brother owned a company that cleaned banks and my father and mother would assist him with the cleaning late in the evening for extra money. They don’t remember Angie being their kissing my father in the “dim lobby”. Last, the article stated that my mom learned of this “teenage love affair” and called Angie’s parents to demand that she stop seeing him.. My mother is a gracious woman, but her reaction would have gone far beyond calling her parents and frankly, I’m sure Angie’s overprotective father would have had my father put in jail. So good try to Angie! The story was very entertaining. It sounds like your adult memories have been weaved into your teenage fantasies.
The truth is that Angie had a fantasy about my father as a teenager and she fulfilled it later on in life by having an affair with him, when my parents were going through a very difficult transition. Angie got pregnant from my dad and was too scared to tell her husband who was working hard and serving this country, so she lied to him for 16 years. During an argument she got bold and let her secret slip and her husband divorced her. She sued him for child support and put the poor man in jail. Talk about insult to injury! Seeing that she could not get anything out of her x-husband, she called my father, confessed the whole story and asked him for help to get her son Omar out of jail, because he had and still has legal troubles.
My father, knowing the hell that he would have to pay if my mother found out, went up to Georgia and on the advice of a lawyer had a paternity test done first. The test came back that he was indeed the father and he offered to help Omar and give Angie the amount of child support that was deemed appropriate by law. Angie didn’t want that, instead, she wanted close to a million dollars, because in her delusional mind she thinks my father has some large hidden bank account. Trust me he does not! She threatened to go to the press with her story.
So, on the threats of being blackmailed and having the affair exposed, my father confessed his affair to my mother, brother and myself and told us that we had a brother living in Georgia. As stated in the New Times article, my father also has another child that he fathered when my parents were separated and he has being paying child support to her mother since she was born, she is now 18 and I’m sure a very well adjusted, intelligent young woman, because her father and mother raised her with love. They never dragged her identity or name into the papers.
Angie Sanders case was thrown out, because you can’t sue two men for child support in two different states. Her x-husband raised a child financially that he thought was his own and the woman still wanted to put him in jail and have my father, pay back child support dating back to the birth of a child he never had knowledge of. She still calls and asks him for money. My mother has been there to listen to the desperate phone calls, as have I. She has no caring for her son, she just wants money and she is angry and wants to embarrass my family. My father’s attorneys fees that he had to pay to defend himself could have easily put Omar through college- a dam good college- or helped his son.
I sincerely feel sorry for Angie and I feel sorry for her son who is my half brother. She has done the wrong thing. My father and her both did the wrong thing. There is nothing right about adultery. Angie wants my father to suffer, but the people who have suffered the most include my mother, my brothers, and myself. Angie Sanders, needs to ask for forgiveness. My father has asked for forgiveness from the entire family and believe me he pays for his sins daily.
I believe that vengeance truly belongs to God, but forgiveness must first be asked for with sincere heart and purpose from all those you have wronged. Mrs. Sanders needs to be woman enough to look my mother in the face and ask for forgiveness. She needs to apologize to her family, her friends, my family and the public for all the lies she has weaved together into this intricate tale that she reported to the New Times. My father is not a perfect man. Angie is not a perfect woman. Mr. Norman and “Rev Jackson” do not live in glass houses, but I would like to say to that I forgive all of these individuals for trying to hurt and embarrass my family, because only God knows the truth and has the right to render true justice. ---------------------------------------
Wow. First I want to thank LaShawnda for a well-written and spirited response.
But I wonder why she didn't address the real news in the story: That her father offered to pay Sanders if she would threaten to sue his political opponents, specifically Allen Jackson, for using her name in the current campaign.
Probably because phone records back up Sanders' assertions, showing that Eggelletion called her repeatedly. Sanders' friends and family were also aware of the proposition.
And that begs the question: If Sanders really were some kind of pyschopathic liar, why would Eggelletion call her at all? And why did his attorney try so hard during the paternity hearing to limit testimony about the history of their affair?
As for the factual assertions, I want to start with LaShawnda's comments about her half brother, Omar, which, while couched in compassion, were clearly aimed at besmirching him. Eggelletion and his family never fail to bring up Omar's (rather minor) problems with the law. I know Eggelletion has even spread rumors that Omar is in jail right now -- and that is false. Omar and his family assure me that he has no outstanding issues with authorities right now and is set to join the military.
I'm not going to quibble about the car. Sanders' sister remembers it as a Camaro. Sanders says she thought it was an MG. I simply transcribed the sister's memory. Same for the golfing rebuke. Sanders says Eggelletion was just starting golf when she was in high school. LaShawnda says he started a couple of years later.
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As for Mr. Lockhart, I did speak to him and he did say that, while the news that he wasn't Omar's father was obviously upsetting, he had many issues to deal with back in those days and took it relatively well. He also said he continues to support Sanders and considers her a friend. And the cleaning company assertion, in my mind, only bolsters Sanders' story. How would she know about Eggelletion cleaning banks back then if she weren't involved with him?
Now comes my 'fessing. The Tallahassee part of the story is, indeed, wrong (though I never wrote that he was born there). I believe that Sanders told me that Eggelletion told her about growing up in Tallahassee, but that may have been a miscommunication. Whatever the case, the root of the error comes in the fact that Eggelletion's parents live, or have lived, in Tallahassee. I take responsibility for the mistake and I apologize for the error.
The mistake never would have happened, however, had Eggelletion responded to my repeated attempts at interviewing him on the matter rather than refusing to comment and hanging up the phone on me before I even got a question out.
I stand by the story and continue to believe that Sanders -- who testified in court that the affair began when she was in high school -- is telling the truth. I am continuing to report on this saga and expect more to follow.