Administrator Keeps Job after Contentious Election Board Meeting

Administrator Keeps Job after Contentious Election Board Meeting

There was name calling and sparks flying Wednesday night at the Shelby County Election Commission. But in the end, Election Supervisor Rich Holden got to keep his job.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - There was name calling and sparks flying Wednesday night at the Shelby County Election Commission. But in the end, Election Supervisor Rich Holden got to keep his job.

Holden was the man in charge when thousands of voters were given the wrong ballots during the August 2012 Primary Election.

Staff members were called liars, half of the election commissioners said there is no transparency within the board, there were complaints of bad communication, and the list goes on.

"I make the motion for the resignation of Richard Holden," Commissioner George Monger stated.

But that motion failed. Republican members of the commission voted to keep Rich Holden to keep his job as Shelby County Election Administrator.

Election Chairman Robert Meyers said in Holden's defense, "For better or worse, Holden has been through a whole lot, he has a lot more knowledge. I think it'll be a shame to let that go."

Commissioner Monger wasn't happy with that answer. He said Holden hasn't showed any signs of improvement.

"Here we are talking about an administrator who's been here for four years and we're talking about processes and there's no processes," he said, "If I had been at my job for four years and I don't come up with things that move us forward, I don't stay."

Monger says employees are too scared to put Holden under fire, afraid of losing their job.

Things got so heated, the board had to take a 15 minute break. Then there was more finger-pointing of mismanaging money, not telling all the commissioners what's going on, and losing voter confidence.

"In all of our groups we need to improve our customer service, but I think we're working towards that," said Meyers.

Some of the commissioners say Rich Holden has done everything the board has asked him to do, but everyone agrees this will be a long road to improvement.

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