MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Shelby County Commissioner is asking County Clerk Wanda Halbert to step down after emails obtained by WREG Investigators show her lease at one satelite office lease about to expire and another called into question.

Emails from September 2022 obtained through a county government source with knowledge of the matter show the director of property management for Finard Properties reaching out to Halbert, letting her know her options for the Whitehaven and Poplar Plaza satellite offices.

The satellite locations handle titling and license registration. Both had leases that needed to be worked out.

According to these emails, the property manager continued to follow up two more times and then in January, he wrote, “We haven’t spoken in a while,” and says he’s trying “to be way out front of problems,” reminding her they would not be renewing her Poplar Plaza lease in June.

“Our goal is not to lose you as our tenant,” he wrote, but said if they can’t agree to a new location, “the inconvenience to the citizens will be numerous.”

A staffer from Halbert’s office responded with some questions and reminded him, this is “top priority.”

But as of March 21, the emails state a new space for Poplar Plaza has yet to be hashed out. It’s unclear if Halbert is working on another location.

Emails also state that the Whitehaven location’s lease has been in holdover for over a year, and is month-to-month.

In response to the emails, Commissioner Mick Wright is calling for Halbert to resign, saying in part she’s ignored deadlines to find replacement locations, “as well as office closures, delays, long lines, mailing problems, accounting difficulties, communications gaps, intra governmental disputes and a growing list of runresolved complaints, the citizens have lost faith.” 

Wright said it’s “time for new leadership.”

It was a similar story in 2020, when WREG Investigators first told you about the Germantown branch that ended up closing.

The property manager of that location told us then they tried to work with Halbert, extending the lease seven and a half months until ultimately, they had to kick her out for the new tenant.

Halbert blamed it on problems with the contract, and miscommunication.

She also said she planned on opening a bigger and better office, but that hasn’t happened.

The Shelby County Commission has requested Halbert appear in front of the commission Wednesday.

Halbert responded to WREG by email on Tuesday, saying, “We are meeting with Commission tomorrow at 12:00 and we will be discussing the space.  Prepping the packets for the public and Commission now.”

We reached out to the property manager multiple times Tuesday, but have not yet heard back.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris last week threatened to investigate Halbert for dereliction of duty if she didn’t find a new location for the East Memphis branch by Friday. The mayor’s office has yet to respond to our emails on the topic.

Halbert sent a letter to the commission in response to the mayor’s threat of an investigation.

Halbert was re-elected to her position as County Clerk last year.