The Harris administration has announced a change in the leadership team that oversees the 2012 Memorandum of Agreement between Shelby County, the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Judge Paul Summers’ contract as Settlement Coordinator will end in October. He will be replaced by Attorney Herman Morris in the coming weeks.
Interim County Attorney Marlinee Iverson is finalizing the new contract between Attorney Morris and Shelby County Government. The contract is expected to be executed in the next few weeks. Attorney Morris will begin as the new Settlement Coordinator promptly.
“The recent election brought sweeping changes to County government,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “One of the mandates that came out of this election was that we take a fresh approach to some of our challenges, like juvenile justice, which have endured for years. Citizens expect a thorough, sober review of the challenges in our juvenile justice system. They expect Shelby County Government to rehabilitate as many young lives as possible. It’s time to put our heads down, wipe our eyes clear, and get to the task. I want to thank Judge Summers for his service to Shelby County and his long career in public service. Additionally, I want to thank our new County Attorney for facilitating a smooth transition.”
Shelby County Commission Chairman Van Turner added, “We have a new county commission and a new mayor. It’s a good time to take a fresh approach to some of these challenges. Many of the youngsters who get caught up in this world of criminal justice can be saved. We want to eliminate as much contact as possible for our troubled youth at the beginning. I’ve been briefed on the changes regarding Mr. Morris. As the Chairman, I look forward to the item coming before the Commission for its consideration.”
Judge Summers has a long history of public service across the State of Tennessee, including as the State Attorney General, as a Senior Judge, a Criminal Court of Appeals Judge, and as the district attorney general for the State’s 25th Judicial District (made up of five counties in west Tennessee).
“After his retirement as Senior Judge, Judge Summers was asked to serve as the Settlement Coordinator for the MOA. He readily agreed to do so, continuing his career-long commitment to serving the public,” said Mayor Harris.