First Black Mississippi county supervisor dies in house fire

A man who was the first Black county supervisor elected in Mississippi’s Yazoo County has died in a house fire.

Yazoo County Sheriff Jacob Sheriff tells WLBT-TV that Herman Leach died Friday.

Sheriff said the 85-year-old Leach was the only person home. He said investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

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The former county supervisor of Mississippi has died in a house fire on Friday. Officials are working to determine the cause of the fire and believe that Herman Leach was the only one present in the home.

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Leach won election to the county board in 1979 after working for the state highway department and served as a supervisor for more than 20 years, retiring in the mid-2000s. Leach got his start as a youth coach and community activist. His brother Wardell Leach was Yazoo City’s first Black mayor from 1998 through 2006.

In 1992, Leach became ensnared in an investigation by state Auditor Steve Patterson, who accused Leach of getting the county to pay for private telephone bills and for an air conditioner installed on Leach’s property. Leach denied wrongdoing.