City legal experts, judges and district attorneys have been discussing privately if they should remove Criminal Court clerk David Torrence from office, the Channel 4 I-Team has learned.
Representatives from the city's legal department, the District Attorney General's office, Metro Criminal Court judges and Davidson County District Attorney Torry Johnson have all been talking to each other about what should be the next step in trying to oust Torrence.
In a statement to the I-Team, Metro Trial Court administrator Tim Townsend said, "The courts are well aware of the David Torrence issue, and we continue to research the law to determine how to proceed."
The behind-the-scenes discussions began when a resolution was introduced before the Metro Council instructing Torrence to either resign, or for the district attorney, the district attorney general, Metro Legal Department or Criminal Court judges to remove him from office.
On Tuesday night, the Metro Council voted in favor of the resolution, effectively passing the baton to the contingency of legal authorities to take some kind of action against Torrence.
Torrence told the I-Team he will not resign.
Torrence is scheduled to go before the Metro Budget and Finance Committee on Thursday afternoon to discuss his budget. Members of that committee were among the council Tuesday night who voted for the resolution asking Torrence to resign.
"I think we want to know a full accounting of what he's doing over there at that office. It seems to run well, but if you've got a big budget, and you don't seem to need to come to work, we've got some serious questions about that," said Councilwoman Megan Barry, chair of the Metro Budget and Finance Committee.
The resolution and the ouster discussions of the legal authorities stem from a series of I-Team investigations that found Torrence skipping out on work nearly half of last year, using a county-issued car to run personal errands, hiring his two sons in his office without interviewing anyone else and ignoring a city mandate that he provide the council monthly updates how he's spending taxpayer money in his office.
"I think it goes to show we need more information, and the information we need isn't being provided," Barry said.