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Threat against councilwoman prompts investigation

By Justin Boron

Riverdale Councilwoman Wanda Wallace said she has asked the city police department to investigate a threat “to blow up her house,” which she attributes to the city's fractious political climate.

Wallace recently won her bid for re-election and said the comment may have been directed at her victory.

“It's kind of disgusting when politics are played like this,” she said, “when (someone) takes an election so seriously.”

Riverdale Police Chief Thetus Knox said the department is investigating the threat but would not disclose the target of its probe.

In a sign that the department is handling the situation earnestly, Knox said an extra officer was added to security personnel at Monday night's city council meeting.

Although Wallace didn't receive it first-hand, she said she also is taking the threat seriously.

“You don't know what this person's mindset can be,” she said. “It was very uncomfortable last night being up there.”

Racial discrimination has been a focal point of ongoing controversy in the city. But the threat is not likely race-related because Wallace said she believes the threat came from an African-American man not on the City Council.

Wallace said she isn't going to let the escalating politics stop her from continuing to pursue economic development that would make Riverdale “the predominant city on the south side of the airport.”

On tap for new businesses, the city has a Home Depot close to opening and a Lowe's that will break ground soon. Combined the two businesses could open up between 200 and 250 new jobs, Wallace said.

She said the city also is negotiating to bring more chain family restaurants into the business community.