UPDATE BY FOX13'S MATT GERIEN:
Commissioner Sidney Chism wants the ethics case against him thrown out.
His attorney says the
county doesn't have the evidence to make its case.
But, the commissioner
who filed the original complaint, Terry Roland, wants the Ethics Commission to
review this case and rule on it.
The attorney for Chism
says his client has done nothing wrong.
The issue, here, is
whether Chism should have voted as a commissioner to approve Federal grant
programs that ultimately funneled into his family's day care center. Chism's
wife runs Horn Lake Daycare in Memphis.
The money was for Head
Start Early Education programs, specifically, what are known as wrap-around
services, such as meals and social services.
Roland filed an ethics
complaint and the Shelby County Ethics Commission has moved forward with the
The County Attorney
brought in a special prosecutor to handle the case. Now, Chism's attorney,
Ricky Wilkins, says it was well known that Chism's family ran the day car and
we wants the ethics panel to end the case. It's called a Summary Judgment.
Roland says, "The
taxpayers paying for all of this and he's voting on all of these things. So, it's,
to me, it's clear as the nose on your face that it's a conflict."
The special prosecutor
is challenging Chism's request for an end to the case. He says it may be
necessary to depose several people, including Chism's wife, in order to respond
to his attorney's request.
The Ethics Commission is composed of retired judges and attorneys. The panel is charged with enforcing the county's ethics code for employees. This is the furthest a case like this has gone. The group is scheduled to meet again on August 20.
"I made the complaint I carried it to the county attorney's office the county attorney is the one that found merit with my complaint and therefore the county is the one that has to prosecute this case, not me," says Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland.
Sidney Chism responds to ethics complaint against him brought up by fellow commissioner Terry Roland. The ethics panel decided there was enough to move forward and are looking into the charges.
The charges say some votes cast by commission Chism, who owns a day care center, were in conflict with the commission's code of ethics because the votes dealt with matters of day care aged children.
Chism wants the charges dismissed.
His attorney, Ricky Wilkins filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the charges. Among other things, Wilkins motion claims Chism never earned a dime as a result of any of his votes, that commissioner Chism was cleared by the county attorney to vote on the matters in question, and that the procedures in the Chism matter were so badly managed that the law was misapplied.
The three member ethics panel is scheduled to meet on the Chisms' matter August 20.
Tonight on FOX13 News at 9 p.m., Matt Gerien talks with commissioner Terry Roland.
Memorandum in support of Motion for Summary Judgement: http://content.foxtvmedia.com/whbq/Commissioner Sidney Chism's Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment.pdf
Motion for Summary Judgement: http://content.foxtvmedia.com/whbq/Commissioner Sidney Chism's Motion for Summary Judgment.pdf
Statement of Undisputed Facts: http://content.foxtvmedia.com/whbq/Commissioner Sidney Chism's Statement of Undisputed Facts.pdf