Former County Clerk’s Misconduct Charges Could be Wiped Clean

Posted on: 2:32 pm, February 19, 2013, by , updated on: 10:24pm, February 19, 2013

(Memphis) Former General Session Court Clerk Otis Jackson agreed to one year pretrial diversion on charges of official misconduct.

If Jackson does not violate the terms of the diversion, his record will be cleared in a year.

During this diversion, Jackson is not allowed to run for office or accept an appointed position.

Jackson was indicted on four felony counts of official misconduct by a grand jury two years ago. He was accused of pressuring employees to raise money for his campaign.

Last fall, he refused to swear an oath to tell the truth in court and declared himself a sovereign citizen. At the time, he refused to agree to the diversion deal, but has since changed his mind.

Jackson still ran for re-election in 2012, but was defeated by Ed Stanton Jr., who is the current general sessions court clerk.

Tennessee state lawmakers have passed a law preventing future politicians from receiving diversion for criminal offenses. That law passed in 2012, but since Jackson’s charges came before then, he was eligible for this deal.

State Rep. Barrett  Rich, who represents Fayette County, Hardeman County and McNairy County, said that it was important to create such a law.

Rich said that with cases like Tennessee Waltz and charges against John Ford, “that certainly would prompt legislators to react swiftly and fairly harshly.”

He added, “It was brought to our attention that someone could receive judicial diversion for official misconduct and then go back to run for that same office again. That’s not being good stewards of the taxpayers trust.”