Stanton ethics complaint alleges pressure to donate to campaign - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Stanton ethics complaint alleges pressure to donate to campaign

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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

An ethics complaint filed in January by William Stovall against Edward Stanton, Jr., the clerk of the Shelby County General Sessions Court, alleges that people close to Stanton pressured him to make a donation to the Clerk's re-election campaign.

Stanton, Jr., is the father of current U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton III.

Stovall is the former Chief Administrative Officer to the County Court.

DOWNLOAD: Read the ethics complaint against Edward Stanton, Jr.

Under county ethics laws the allegations made are kept confidential, but Stovall has confirmed its accuracy. In the complaint filed Jan. 24, Stovall claims when he refused to make a political contribution, Stanton, Jr. fired him.

Friends who know the general sessions court clerk describe him as a religious man, but Stovall alleges Stanton, Jr., and some unnamed top staffers have engaged in unethical practices.

In this ethics complaint obtained by FOX13 News, Stovall alleges Stanton, Jr., "engaged in coercion to obtain political donations or support and knowingly committed such an unlawful action under the color of his office."

Stovall said his firing in January was because he said he didn't make a donation.

In his complaint, Stovall claims he was talking with an individual who was said to be speaking on behalf of Stanton Jr. in the fall of last year.

The unnamed individual told Stovall that the Clerk "was somewhat perturbed or upset" that he had not made a political contribution despite being "the third highest paid person in the organization."

According to the ethics complaint, Stovall told the individual he had not and would not contribute because he didn't want to get involved in politics.

In the complaint Stovall said the individual told him Stanton, Jr., was "considering making some changes" at the start of 2014. Stovall believed the comment was a reference to making political contributions.

On Friday, Jan. 3 more than three months after refusing to contribute to the re-election campaign of Stanton, Jr., Stovall was let go.  

FOX13 News contacted Stanton, Jr., for comment by both phone and e-mail. He responded by saying "While I am aware a complaint has been filed, I do not comment on pending investigations."

The ethics complaint against Stanton, Jr., is ongoing.

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