Councilman Asks For Court Clerk's Resignation After I-Team Story - WSMV News 4

Councilman Asks For Court Clerk's Resignation After I-Team Story

Updated: May 2, 2011

Days after Channel 4 aired an I-Team story last week exposing that Davidson County Criminal Court clerk David Torrence works only half the year and earns a six-figure salary, Metro Council member at-large Charlie Tygard is asking for Torrence's resignation.



Below is the email Tygard sent to Torrence on Monday:


David -



Metro Councilman Michael Craddock, who ran against Torrence in the last election, said he also wants Torrence to resign.


District Attorney General Torry Johnson said that he is researching whether he should or could remove Torrence from office.


"The outrage that it has created among taxpayers is so immediate and severe that this is an action that warrants further steps," Tygard told Channel 4.


"You only worked about 50 percent of the time. Only 50 percent of the time you were in this office. How do you explain that?" asked I-Team chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.


"It is what it is," said Torrence.


The I-Team's hidden camera investigation also found him out of the office doing yard work and using a county-issued car to run personal errands, such as going to the liquor store.


Torrence said he only works three days a week, and the I-Team's investigation also found he hired his two sons for jobs in his office without interviewing other candidates or advertising the positions.


"So, how did your sons know about it?" Finley asked of the jobs.


"Well, they knew about it because I told them about it," said Torrence.


"When an elected official, myself included, betrays the public trust, we should be held accountable for our actions," said Tygard.


Torrence issued a no-comment Monday through his assistant.


Johnson said he will review with the city's legal department if he does, indeed, have the power to try to remove Torrence. He said he's been swamped with calls from outraged taxpayers and is still considering if he should take action.


Another council member, Megan Barry, sent a letter to the city's finance director Monday. Citing the I-Team's investigation, she said she wants to review the budget of the clerk's office.


Torrence is scheduled to go before Metro Council later this month to present his budget.


I am shocked and disappointed by the recent WSMV allegations about your work schedule and other aspects of your performance, including use of govt vehicle for private use and hiring of family members without proper advertisement.


Because of these actions, and lack of explanation given, I would respectfully ask you consider resigning from your position immediately.


I have asked the Council office to prepare the following memorializing Resolution should you choose not to resign.


All elected officials are held to a high standard of performance and should take the responsibilies (sic) of their position very seriosuly. (sic) When any of us fails to honor those duties, each of us suffers in the public eye.


During your recent re-election campaign, I was happy to provide you with advice and notification of events being held in my area of town. I feel betrayed by your actions today.


Charlie Tygard
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