Commissioner Roland Speaks Out on Ethics Probe

Commissioner Roland Speaks Out on Ethics Probe

A Shelby County Commissioner's voting record is under scrutiny, and the man who sparked the controversy is speaking out. Commissioner Terry Roland prompted the ethics probe into and the fallout could be huge.
MILLINGTON, TN (localmemphis.com) - A Shelby County Commissioner's voting record is under scrutiny, and the man who sparked the controversy is speaking out. Commissioner Terry Roland prompted the ethics probe into and the fallout could be huge.

"Well first I want to say, this is not personal," Roland told localmemphis.com.

That may not cool tensions surrounding his allegations. He claims Melvin Burgess and Sidney Chism are voting on key issues that could profit them.

Chism runs a daycare center that gets federal funds from Head Start and would receive services through the Unified School System. Burgess is a director of internal audit with Memphis City Schools.

"He shouldn't vote on the budget because he's actually voting on his own salary," Roland said, "Common sense should tell you that's wrong."

Roland called for the two commissioners to be investigated in April. Commissioner Chism's lawyer, Ricky Wilkins, says the allegations have no merit.

"No one in county government has ever said to him, 'Mr. Chism, this matter is now on the agenda, we think because you own a daycare, you shouldn't vote on it.'"

But Roland claims Chism knew there was a conflict of interest from the very beginning.

"He even had a County Attorney opinion before he took office that said you either need to recuse yourself or relinquish ownership, so he should've done this 6-7 years ago."

Roland is now waiting on an opinion from the state's attorney general.

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