MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- No cars in driveway, and unanswered knocks. According to neighbors, Ron Garrison and his family have not been back home since the former MATA CEO was busted in a prostitution sting late last month.
"I just regret that this man’s career and the work that he had done so favorably in Memphis has been obscured by the publication of this allegation," said this neighbor who didn’t want her face shown.
She said Garrison is not the man he’s being made out to be.
"He hasn’t had his day in court," added the neighbor.
"He absolutely did help us. He came and went out of his way to warn us about someone who may have been casing our neighborhood."
WREG pulled the paperwork and found Garrison was accused of using the website backpage.com. Investigators said he called an undercover officer he thought was an escort and agreed to pay her $80 in exchange for thirty minutes of sex.
The neighbors we spoke with said that’s not the man they know.
"When I see his family outside they are always so happy and so cheerful. It’s troublesome that this family has been impacted in this way."
Police documents revealed Garrison showed up at a motel in Cordova to meet the undercover officer, but was uncomfortable when he got in the room and left. That’s when he was detained by investigators.
The new interim MATA CEO, Gary Rosenfeld, said people who work at the city-run bus service are discouraged by these new emerging details.
"Disappointment was the general attitude in the room when people learned," said Rosenfeld.
For neighbors, the allegations don’t take away from his reputation as a business leader.
"MATA over the last few months has improved on time. On time performance went from 45% to 75%," said Rosenfeld.
It's a mission MATA is left to continue to improve on without Garrison at the helm.
Garrison resigned shortly before it was announced that he was involved in the prostitution sting. At that time he resigned for medical reasons, but WREG has since learned that he stepped down during the time of the pending TBI investigation.
MATA knew he was being investigated but wanted to wait until solid evidence came out from the investigation.