Shelby commissioners propose clarifying residency rules in wake of Ford and Brooks investigations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After weeks of investigation into where Henri Brooks and Justin Ford live, the Shelby County Commission is now taking a closer look at its residency rules.

Commissioner Steve Mulroy said, “We should define it as what I’ll call a pillow law. Where do you lay your head at night? Are you actually in your district?”

Mulroy suggested a sort of bed check for his fellow board members.

He wants to require commissioners to spend a certain number of nights in their district, but nobody could agree on a number.

Some thought the idea was a little too much like big brother.

Commissioner Steve Basar said, “We are trying to take a sledge hammer where a fly swatter might be more appropriate.”

Not everyone was on board with these changes.

Commissioners Chism and Bailey think the way it’s going now is just fine,  even if there are questions about where Henri Brooks and Justin Ford really live.

Bailey added, “It invites privacy invasion, is what it does. I don’t want any part of it. I think there are ample laws on the books.”

But the majority of the committee agreed some sort of clarification is needed.

Chairman James Harvey said, “It would be to the benefit of all of us to at least have a discussion on this matter, because it’s not going away.”

Just as chairman Harvey finished that statement, Commissioner Justin Ford took his seat at the meeting, about an hour late.

One thing everyone seemed to agree on is commissioners should not be investigating each other.

Harvey added, “When an elected official tells you that’s where he lives, that’s where he lives. And the burden of proof should be on that elected official if challenged.”

Now that the TBI is investigating Herni Brooks, the commissions own investigation is on hold.

Commissioner Ritz doubts this will be solved before Brooks’ term ends next month.


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