MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The City of Memphis is finally going public about the hiring of a controversial former Shelby County commissioner. The announcement comes just one business day after ABC 24 News told you The Truth about it
Mayor A C Wharton hired Mike Carpenter to head the Office of Intergovernmental Relations. He's being paid $90,000 a year.
As part of the job, Carpenter will manage the Harahan Bridge Project. The hope is that the old train bridge over the Mississippi River will be turned into a bike and pedestrian path.
Carpenter will be a contract worker, which means he won't be getting a pension or benefits.
Last week, those watching the situation told ABC 24 they are concerned the city is spending money during these tight budget times.
Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove noted, "You hear we're in a budget crisis but then you turn around and hire Mike Carpenter for $90,000? Something is wrong with that picture."
"We cut back wrecker drivers and park employees and all the other things that provide services to the city citizens, and we're hiring these other people that make over $90,000," added Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams. "What purpose does that serve?"
As county commissioner, Carpenter led the effort to reduce the number of days off county employees received annually for vacation and sick time.