MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert was notified Oct. 11 in a letter from Poplar Plaza’s property managers that her office was months late paying rent, and owed nearly $10,000.
According to a letter from Finard Properties LLC, payments were not met dating back to July 2023. As of October 11, the total due was $9,867.50. That amount did not include the late fees, penalties, interest, or attorney fees that may have been allowed by the lease, the letter stated.
Last week, Halbert denied the office was evicted, saying the payments were late by “a month or two.”
“There has been concern that we were evicted, that’s absolutely not true,” Halbert said. “All of our rentals are paid up.”
However, the top of the letter was in reference to “a notice of expiration of the lease, a notice of termination of the lease, and notice to surrender” for suite 201, the Shelby County Clerk Office at Poplar Plaza.
The lease expired on June 30, 2023, and an automatic three-month extension expired on September 30, 2023.
Finard Properties sent the letter to the Shelby County Clerk’s Office, the Shelby County Land Bank, and the Shelby County Government stating to “Kindly surrender the premises within thirty days of the written notice and in the condition required by the lease.”
The letter was dated Oct. 11. The branch office closed and furnishings were moved out Nov. 8.
After looking deeper into Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert’s operations, evidence shows that Halbert has also been late on every county financial report for years.
Shelby County Trustee Regina Newman says that County officials who collect money like Halbert must turn in a report every 10th of the month on revenue from the prior month.
“We have no reports back to July 2021 that the Clerk has submitted by the 10th of the month, that are accurate,” said Newman.
On November 8, the Poplar Plaza branch in East Memphis closed a day early after it was originally supposed to close on November 9.
Several people lined up outside the Clerk’s office Wednesday morning in hopes of getting their tags before the initial closing date.
When WREG’s crew made it to the scene, there was a moving truck taking off with furniture from the clerk’s office.