MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Shelby County Commissioner Mark Billingsley has asked the county’s attorney what it would take to recall county clerk Wanda Halbert.
Halbert is under fire after she decided to vacation in Jamaica while her office was closed to deal with a significant license plate backlog.
“It’s an insult to injury that she is in Jamaica while the clerk’s office is in crisis,” Billingsley said. “Citizens deserve better.”
State Comptroller Jason Mumpower confirmed Halbert was in Jamaica this week and said the clerk was AWOL.
“The clerk’s trip shows a lack of leadership and concern for her staff who are left to address the backlog without her presence in the office,” said Mumpower.
WREG contacted every county commissioner about Halbert’s actions but has only heard back from two of the county’s leaders.
County Commissioner Mick Wright said, “If Wanda Halbert can’t or won’t do the work required of the County Clerk’s office and treat serving our citizens’ needs as the priority, she should step down and let someone else lead that office.”
Shelby county Mayor Lee Harris also issued this statement:
“We share the public’s disappointment that Clerk Halbert has chosen to close public offices that serve our residents and leave the country. Our Administration has consistently asked that Clerk Halbert expand her hours of operation in order to clear the backlog issues and deliver essential services to Shelby County residents. We all need Clerk Halbert to do the job that she was elected to do.”
Over the phone, Halbert told WREG her vacation was scheduled before staff decided to close this week and said she would be back in Memphis on Wednesday.
“I’m pleased the comptroller spoke about this,” Commissioner Billingsley said. “I’m glad to hear he is as frustrated as we are.”