MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Another criminal investigation is underway involving a division of Memphis City Government. Several employees of the Community Enhancement Division have been suspended with pay as the city looks into charges that municipal employees were used to work for private companies on city time.
It's got a veteran member of the Memphis City Council frustrated over yet another agency that has workers who seem to be serving themselves, and not the people who pay for them: you.
The Memphis City Department of Community Enhancement was in charge of blight. They cut overgrown grass and weeds in lots. But the city is asking for police to look into reports that some people, who are supposed to make Memphis more livable, were instead, trying to make their own lives more profitable.
The birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a day that is supposed to be spent helping a community, and as a day for reflection.
Some spent it chowing down on junk food like corn dogs, funnel cakes, that sort of stuff, at vendors located right across the street from where Dr. King was murdered.
But there were others who spent the morning doing what they could to help Memphis.
Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins knows the plight of those who live with blight, surrounded by filthy vacant lots and homes ready to fall to pieces. He knows that the Community Enhancement Division is supposed to be in charge of fixing up this type of thing. He also knows that there've been some pretty serious accusations of trouble in Community Enhancement, thanks to a weekend conversation with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.
Investigators can probably find Memphis City Hall wearing blindfolds. They investigated General Services, a division that was so filled with troubles that the city had to fire several people and pretty much rebuild the department from scratch. Now they're investigating Community Enhancement, where the "enhancement" might have ended up in the pockets of employees.
Collins told abc24.com, "It's frustrating when city employees are alleged to have taken advantage of their positions and they have alleged to benefit privately from what the city of Memphis people pay their salaries to do."
The Memphis City Council doesn't have anything to do when it comes to the operations of agencies; the mayor is the man in charge of making sure things work. Mayor A C Wharton was out of town and unavailable for comment at the time of this report.