MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) – Suspended Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson will continue to get paid during his suspension. Jackson’s paid suspension was extended until December 31, 2011 according to his lawyer, Jay Bailey.
Jackson was suspended in August 2011, after being indicted on official misconduct charges. He’s accused of forcing employees to campaign on the clock for his re-election.
“From what I understand, there was difficulty in reaching a majority or consensus towards anything else so the prudent thing to do was allow him to stay on suspended with pay,” Bailey told abc24.com. “There has been no movement in his criminal case, other than the arraignment and the appointment of a special judge.”
“Since people are innocent until proven guilty to remove someone from office when they haven’t been convicted raises some issues,” said Shelby County Commissioner, Steve Mulroy.
Mulroy is also a law professor at the University of Memphis Law School.
“It is a judgment call on the part of the judges. You can make an argument in either direction,” Mulroy told abc24.com.
“I think we ought to find a way to ouster him. It seems like the judges are allowing him to continue getting paid, when everyone knows he is a big mess,” said Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz.
In addition the criminal charges, earlier this year abc24.com discovered Jackson allowed employees to buy extra days off work for donations to charity. He also spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on Christmas parties for his staff.
“The citizens and taxpayers need to find out if these problems are ever going to stop,” said Ritz.
Jackson’s lawyer told abc24.com the clerk has no plans to resign.
“To resign would be an admission and facing an indictment he is not admitting to anything,” said Bailey.