MEMPHIS, TN – Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson has been indicted.
According to a news release issued by the Shelby County District Attorneyl’s Office, a state grand jury indicted the 51-year-old Jackson on four counts of official misconduct. He is accused of using his position to make employees donate or raise money for his re-election campaign.
“Our citizens place a great deal of trust and confidence in our elected and appointed officials,” says Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. “When these same officials violate that trust, responsibility rests with our law enforcement community, the District Attorney’s office and our judicial system to identify it, stop it and deter it, to restore public trust.”
According to Jackson
’s lawyer, Howard Wagerman, Jackson
will enter a “not guilty” plea when he makes his first appearance in court.
“We will enter a plea of not guilty and then start the process of reviewing discovery and evidence,” Wagerman tells abc24.com.
Jackson will not quit his job as clerk and there is no policy that requires him to resign while under indictment.
“Otis remains clerk and plans on fulfilling his obligation to the citizens of this county as he has for the last several years,” says Wagerman.
“I am Otis Jackson and I was dually elected as General Sessions Court Clerk," Jackson told reporters after his release from the Shelby County jail. "I was voted in. I will continue to do the job to the best of my ability.”
Jackson was let go from jail without having to put up a bond, because the state does not consider him a flight risk.
The investigation into Jackson began last fall after an employee contacted the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. Under oath, employees testified Jackson said they needed to raise thousands of dollars for his re-election campaign. The investigation found employees fundraised on the clock.
Wagerman would not let abc24.com ask Jackson about the charges he is facing.
If convicted, Jackson faces up to six years in prison and a $3,000 fine for each felony counts.