MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Shelby County Commissioner says the county clerk’s Whitehaven office is in jeopardy of closing because County Clerk Wanda Halbert has failed to renew the lease, which expired more than a year ago.
Commissioner Mick Wright posted on Facebook that the clerk’s office will begin paying a hold-over fee for the Whitehaven office, and could it close with just a 30-day notice if new tenants render the current arrangement unworkable.
That comes as the Poplar Plaza office is set to close without a replacement, and a Riverdale office is nearly two years behind in opening, he noted. A Germantown location closed in 2020.
Monday, four Shelby County Commissioners initiated ouster proceedings against Halbert for failing to perform the minimum duties of her office. County Commissioner Mick Wright said the resolution fell short of the seven votes needed to pass.
“There was one no vote, two absent, and the rest abstained or were present not voting,” said Commissioner Wright.
Commissioner said along with him, David Bradford, Amber Mills, and Michael Whaley voted yes, Britney Thorton voted no, and commissioners Edmund Ford, Miska Clay-Bibbs, Mickell Lowery, and Erika Sugermon abstained. Commissioners Henri Brooks and Charlie Caswell did not vote.
Mick said Halbert had also failed to secure leases for several county clerk satellite offices and, after 19 months, failed to open the Riverdale office to replace the lost office in Germantown.
“The Poplar Plaza County Clerk satellite office will close in a couple of months, and there will not be a substitute location in place,” said Commissioner Wright. “This is happening simply because the Clerk’s office has failed to select a new location and layout in the same complex. Clerk Halbert has not communicated with the landlord in over a month, missing the window to avoid a lapse in service.”
Dozens of people have commented on Commissioner Wright’s post over the last 24 hours.
“Unfortunately, the voters of Shelby County are getting what they voted for or neglected to take the time to vote against. Higher crime, poor services,” said Chris Huffstetler.
“So, is there no way to get her out of office? The average Joe would have been fired months ago,” said Ashley Grant.
Commissioner Wright responded by saying there is a recall process available to voters.
Halbert has said recently that she has no plans to leave the office to which she was reelected last year.