MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Chief Administrative Officer George Little said he's the guy that ordered the signs at Confederate and Jefferson Davis Parks removed. He was also the one who removed the Forrest Park sign erected by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The reason, he said, was to avoid problems with state legislation that would make it illegal to change any park names related to the Civil War and its veterans.
Some with Sons of Confederate Veterans say they've been framed, and the signs should have stayed up until the official parks' names were put into place.
Lee Millar, who heads up the local Sons of Confederate Veterans, said he knew who did it. "Councilman Lee Harris and George Little, in defiance of the mayor and in defiance of the city council intentions, came and removed the signs."
Harris doesn't have the power to do it. CAO George Little would have a short career if he did things to defy the mayor, but he did say to get rid of the signs.
You can thank legislators in Nashville who want to make it illegal to change civil parks names for all of this, he says. "In view of the fact that the legislation governing the parks was on notice in the state legislature, it has already passed in the House, we felt the prudent thing to do was take the signs down and store them."
The park signs and names have transformed the whole thing from a little city issue to national news. The Ku Klux Klan's plans for marching in Memphis at the end of the month doesn't help things. One thing Mayor A C Wharton has not done is talk with former mayor Willie Herenton, who was in charge the last time the Klan crawled into town. No reason why, Little said.
Meanwhile, back to the signs - things will change again soon. According to George Little, there's a good chance they'll put up signs with the parks' temporary names.