Norman Asks Fields to Quit Dem Committee; He Does 

BY JACKSON BAKER | JUNE 18, 2007

Keith Norman, chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party, has confirmed reports that lawyer Richard Fields, accused by Mayor Willie Herenton of targeting him for blackmail, has resigned from the local Democratic executive committee. "I asked him to resign, and he agreed. There was no argument about it," Norman said in a Monday afternoon interview.

The resignation is the second forced upon Fields in as many years because of his involvement in a political controversy. In early 2006 he was prevailed upon by then state party chairman Bob Tuke to exit the committee after he became active in a legal effort to void a special election state Senate victory by Democrat Ophelia Ford over Republican Terry Roland. Fields worked in harness with lawyers representing the state Republican Party in that effort.

Fields was reelected to the committee in party elections held earlier this year and withstood a challenge to oust him from member Jennings Bernard when Norman ruled Bernard's motion out of order.

Norman, who had been supported by Fields for the chairmanship, said he learned of Fields' purported role in an alleged plot against Herenton when he picked up his morning newspaper and saw a story on the matter as he was preparing for an early-morning walk last Thursday.

"I just prayed for guidance as I walked," Norman, pastor of First Baptist Church on Broad St., said. After his walk he called Fields and requested his resignation "in the best interests of the party." Norman, who described the conversation as harmonious, said Fields offered no resistance, asking only that things be put on hold overnight, pending his presentation of his own version of events.

An account in which Fields denied the plot scenario and accused his accuser, former topless waitress Gwen Smith, of dissembling appeared in Friday morning's Commercial Appeal, but Norman said he held to his guns and repeated that Fields should follow through on resigning.

"Believe it or not, I got no calls [from committee members]. This is just something that Richard and I worked out together. He will have nothing further to do with the party officially," said Norman, who denied an earlier report that the forthcoming regular June 28th meeting of the executive committee would consider a lifetime ban of Fields from membership but commented, "Somebody mentioned that possibility to me, and I said, 'Hmmm, that may be worth thinking about.'"

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Dark Ages Coming?

      The governmental future as seen by Congressman Cohen, who hints at a new leadership position for himself.
    • Trumped Expectations

      One major surprise colored the 2016 political year. One major surprise colored the 2016 political year.

Blogs

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Memphis Comedy Bad, Bad Men Premieres on Amazon Video

Hungry Memphis

Cafe Brooks Debuts, etc.

News Blog

Redbirds Rebrand

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (Jan. 19-25)

News Blog

Rape Kit Backlog Testing to Finish This Year

From My Seat

Inauguration Day: Then and Now

Politics Beat Blog

Cohen Won't Attend Trump Inauguration

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Valerie June

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Jackson Baker

  • Cohen Won't Attend Trump Inauguration

    Makes announcement at MLK commemoration at Mason Temple, tells Flyer that President-elect's insulting tweets about civil rights icon John Lewis were "the straw that broke the camel's back."
    • Jan 16, 2017
  • Briefs from the Political Week

    Rallings downplays homicide numbers; Commission prepares legislative package, includes medical marijuana, not in agreement yet on MLGW issue; Cohen gets new leadership post in Congress
    • Jan 13, 2017
  • Dark Ages Coming?

    The governmental future as seen by Congressman Cohen, who hints at a new leadership position for himself.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Filling the Space

    For all the in-fighting, we’re all looking for the same thing, and sometimes we can realize it.
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • Jill Stein in Memphis

    An impressive turnout for Green Party presidential nominee at Amurica.
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Kelsey, Harris: Bipartisan Effort on Aquifer Issue

    Plus, DNC aspirant Ellison arouses youthful attendees at national Young Democrat conference here.
    • Dec 15, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation