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'It's time for new leadership' | Shelby County Commissioner calls for Wanda Halbert to step down

Commissioner Mick Wright, who has been vocal in opposition to Halbert, posted an open letter to social media calling on the Shelby County Clerk to resign.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert has been the subject of much criticism from elected leaders in Memphis and Shelby County, and now one Shelby County commissioner is openly calling for her to step down. 

Shelby County Commissioner Mick Wright posted the letter to his social media Tuesday, calling for the county clerk to resign, "for the good of Shelby County and all of its citizens."

Wright said newly released information calls into question the continued visibility of multiple offices maintained by the Clerk's Office, referencing an open letter from Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris to Halbert demanding she move her office on Poplar Plaza due to poor conditions.

"In the face of these missed deadlines, as well as office closures, delays, long lines, mailing problems, accounting difficulties, communication gaps, intra-government disputes and a growing list of unresolved complaints, the citizens have lost faith in our ability to provide basic services," Wright said. "It's time for new leadership in the Clerk's office."

Wright went on to say he believes Halbert was re-elected in August on the strength of her many years of public service, but current circumstances call for a different direction.

"The citizens are not interested in ongoing skirmishes between the branches of government," Wright said.

Wright has been vocal in the past about his opposition to many of Halbert's policies, such as when he pushed back on her refusal to move forward with funding to improve postal services in Shelby County when there was a major backlog of new license plates needing to be delivered. 

In a meeting with Wright in June, he said he did not understand her request to not approve the resolution since Halbert initially asked for the funds to speed up the license plate process for customers.

“Nobody could understand why she asked for that to not go forward. We ended up reversing course and saying let’s go ahead and do this,” Wright said.

Wright was also among a group of county commissioners in August who publicly criticized the County Clerk for taking a vacation during an office closure she said would catch the county up on the backlog. 

"It is absolutely ridiculous, so we are looking at options," Wright said.

We have reached out to Halbert for a response but have yet to hear back. 


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