Lipscomb attorneys say they have letter with accuser recanting

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Attorneys for Robert Lipscomb claimed to have a signed letter recanting accusations made against Lipscomb.

The accuser, now 26, originally said his off-and-on relationship with Robert Lipscomb started when he was a teenager.

He originally made the accusations to the Memphis Police Department in 2010. He said he met Lipscomb in 2003 when he was walking home from a school track meet.

He said Lipscomb forced him to perform oral sex and the sexual abuse continued for years after.

The letter Lipscomb's attorney presented to the board Thursday was dated March 30, 2011.

"I want to apologize for the trouble I caused you. Even though the world gave my [sic] pain , I shouldn't have brought it to you. Now I regret I lost our friendship."

The letter went on to say the accuser's mother had become sick and passed away and family members told him he had to go if he had no money.

"You were in a position to help and you did but a part of me felt as if you could have did more given our past. I thought you would. I'm so sorry. I can't have your friendship back at least accept my apology and forgive me. I was you [sic] and stupid. But, now I realize just cuz you have not where to go or food to eat you shouldn't take advantage of great people to get ahead."

Lipscomb told WREG the man had been harassing him and asking for money.

The letter was presented to the Memphis Housing Authority board as it was deciding whether to terminate Lipscomb.

Lipscomb's attorneys said the mayor's office also received a  copy of the letter, though no one there would confirm that information.

After a discussion, the move to terminate was failed.

Lipscomb was suspended with pay from the Memphis Housing Authority after he resigned from his other job as Director of Housing and Community Development for the city of Memphis.

"We have a rush to judgment by some in this community when they well know the accuser has withdrawn and apologized having made the criminal complaint," said Robert Spence, an attorney for Lipscomb, after the board made their decision.

On Thursday, after the meeting, WREG spoke to Lipscomb's accuser, now 26-years-old, who lives outside of Seattle, Washington.

He said he wrote the letter because Lipscomb forced him to in order to help him get a house.

"Mr. Lipscomb help anybody and sometimes when you help people that will get you in trouble because you never help them enough," said Connie Askew.

Askew said she's known Lipscomb for years and he's helped her and her family.

She was one of his many supporters at Thursday's meeting.

Moving forward, Lipscomb's attorneys said they're thinking offensively after their client's reputation has been destroyed.

"Litigation is certainly an option that we're considering and we're considering against the people who have made the allegation," said Spence.

The findings of MHA's investigation were also released to WREG. In a report, Lipscomb denied ever helping his accuser or his family find housing. Mayor A C Wharton's office said they did not have a comment about the letter because the case is an open investigation.

The next MHA meeting is October 22.

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