Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Henri Brooks to Lose Commission Seat Immediately

County Attorney Ingram determines that Brooks' residence outside District 2 vacates her seat, prepares resolutions for Wednesday's previously called Commission meeting to facilitate interim appointment.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Former County Commissioner Henri Brooks
  • jb
  • Former County Commissioner Henri Brooks
The Flyer has learned that the County Attorney Marcy Ingram has concluded her investigation of the residential status of Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks and found that, as had been thought, Brooks lives outside the district to which she was elected and is thus ineligible, immediately and going forward, to hold Commission office.

In a letter to Commisson chairman James Harvey, Ingram said she has prepared the necessary resolutions for the Commission at its special called meeting on Wednesday to officially declare Brooks’ District 2 seat vacant and to appoint an interim Commissioner.

Commissioner Mike Ritz has already indicated he will introduce the necessary resolutions as add-ons at Wednesday’s meeting, which was originally called to settle several pieces of unfinished Commission business.

Although Brooks will presumably appeal, probably in Chancery Court, she will not be allowed to vote on any matter at Wednesday’s meeting, and the Commission intends to expedite the process of advertising the vacancy and concluding interviews so that an interim Commissioner will be able to vote on the 2014-15 tax rate at the Commission’s forthcoming July 7 meeting.

The text of Ingram's letter to Chairman Harvey is as follows:

Chairman Harvey:

Good afternoon. Please be advised that we have concluded our investigation and determined that Commissioner Brooks resides somewhere other than County Commission District 2 where she was elected (see attached investigation findings). As mentioned previously, when it has been determined that an elected official has "ceas[ed] to be a resident of the .district . for which [she] was elected," her seat is vacated pursuant to state law. T.C.A. §8-48-101 (3). The Charter also says that the seat is forfeited immediately upon a voluntary change of residence outside the district. Shelby County Charter Section 5.10 A (Emphasis added). The Tennessee Attorney General has said that "no judicial determination" is necessary when the elected official does not reside in the district which elected her. Op. Atty. Gen. No. 12-79 citing Bailey v. Greer, 468 S.W.2d 327 (1971) (Emphasis added). Therefore, the Commission should immediately declare the seat vacant, all salary and benefits must cease, and the Commissioner is no longer entitled to perform the functions of such office.

As requested at the June 16, 2014 Commission meeting, I have already prepared the resolutions to notice the vacancy and appoint an interim commissioner. Please advise if I can be of further assistance. Marcy

With kindest regards,

Marcy Ingram
County Attorney
Shelby County Government

Brooks' residence outside her district was discovered recently by a Channel 24 reporter who went to her household of record to request an interview regarding the Commissioner's altercation with another driver on the parking lot of Methodist Hospital Central, where Brooks worked. (Hospital authorities have since announced her resignation.)

Neighbors informed the reporter that Brooks was not a resident of her claimed address, and it was subsequently found that the Commissioner lived in Cordova, a considerable distance away from District 2.

This discovery began the latest in a series of rapid-fire crises involving Brooks, who has vowed to continue her ongoing campaign as Democratic nominee for Juvenile Court Clerk, come what may.

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