MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Clerk’s Office in Poplar Plaza is closing Wednesday, despite announcing the branch would be closing on Thursday, November 9.
Several people lined up outside the Clerk’s office Wednesday morning in hopes of getting their tags before the initial closing date.
“Can’t even get in the building. It’s kind of disappointing, making the process even longer for me,” said Jimontae Buford, who moved to Memphis seven months ago.
When WREG’s crew made it to the scene, there was a moving truck taking off with furniture from the clerk’s office.
The Shelby County Government stated on Monday that the Shelby County Clerk’s branch office in Poplar Plaza would no longer be open after it fell behind on rent payments for several months.
County Clerk Wanda Halbert did not say whether any location would replace Poplar Plaza, but she did release the following statement,
“It is with deep regret we are relocating employees from the Midtown location at 3412 Plaza Drive. We have extended our stay and reassigned current employees to other locations.”
Documents obtained by WREG show the lease was up in June but the landlord agreed to a month-by-month lease. Shelby County Commissioner Mick Wright said Halbert hasn’t paid rent at the location since March.
“For some reason, Clerk Halbert simply will not fulfill the duties of her office and so that’s why I’m saying once again, it is time for Clerk Halbert to step aside,” Wright said.
Wright’s calling on her to resign after a slew of issues have caused disruption within the community.
As clean up begins for the Poplar Plaza branch, customers hope cleanup will begin for problems at the Clerk’s offices.
“You see I’m getting a firsthand experience by coming here to get my tags renewed, and as you can see, it’s just not happening,” Buford said.
We reached out to Halbert along with the owner of the Poplar Plaza property but haven’t heard back.