Roland accuses Burgess of conflict of interest - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Roland accuses Burgess of conflict of interest

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

There is controversy on the Shelby County Commission as Terry Roland is accusing fellow commissioner and budget committee chairman Melvin Burgess of a conflict of interest.

This is coming up as the county commission prepares for a budget retreat this weekend. They'll discuss increasing the budget to pay for the new county-wide school system.
Burgess, the budget chair also works as the audit director for Memphis City Schools. Commissioner Roland says that's a conflict of interest. He sent a letter to Burgess asking him to recuse himself from these discussions.

MORE: What's ticking off Terry Roland?

Roland also feels this weekend's budget retreat -- which is being held at the Memphis City School's Central Nutrition Center, is an opportunity for the school system to lobby the county commission.

"At the end of the day Commissioner Burgess could be voting on his own salary," Commissioner Roland said. "Now that's wrong, that's not being transparent, that's not being fair to the taxpayer."
FOX13 News spoke with Commissioner Burgess on the phone Thursday evening. He called Roland's letter a distraction and he says he will go forward with this weekend's meeting. Burgess says he doesn't see any conflict of interest in any of his actions on the board and he says he consults with the county attorney if there's any question.

As for this weekend's meeting location, he says he choose it because he wants to explore other opportunities for the school system to create revenue by providing food services to other county organizations. Commissioner Roland says on Friday he'll be sending a letter to the county attorney asking that office to look into Commissioner Burgess's role.

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