Former Deputy Director Of Neighborhood Improvement Says He Didn’t Funnel Money To His Son

(Memphis) Onzie Horne used to be in charge of ridding Memphis of blight. He was the man to call to get overgrown lots cut or trash picked up.

Horne resigned earlier this year, and now we know why.

Complaints came in to city hall that one of the many people hired to clean up the city was Horne’s son.

It’s something he denied Monday night.

“I’ve never directed any business to any vendor or contractor,” said Horne.

The audit shows Horne gave more jobs to the company his son worked for, approved payments to three different companies where the invoices were “questionable,” and not giving landlords enough time to clean up property before the city stepped in.

“We’ve got to be careful with every penny. We don’t want the appearance of waste or fraud. we certainly can’t have the appearance of conflict of interest,” said George Little, CAO, City of Memphis

Little said he believes Horne was trying to get as much of the city cleaned up as possible, but the conflicts are there, some could even be criminal.

“We really do believe he was trying to do the right thing and in his effort to make a difference he put quantity over quality,” said Little.

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