Three more fired from Clerk's office - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Three more fired from Clerk's office

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - In the midst of a bribery investigation, 10 employees from the Shelby County Clerk's office have either been fired or resigned.

Three more employees were fired this week.  Darlene McKee, Patricia Reid and Millicent Rogers are among the county clerk employees under investigation for taking tips while handling customer's vehicle registrations.

Shelby County Clerk Debbie Stamson said Friday employees admit it was common practice to pocket cash from customers. 

"For years I'm sure its been going on," she said. "We were unaware of it, but as far as money missing from our office, there is no public money missing."

In a sworn affidavit, Patricia Reed told investigators she allowed councilwoman Barbara Swearengen Ware to renew her car tags in 2007 without proof of inspection.  For that, Reed said, the city councilwoman gave her five dollars. 

Ware denies any wrongdoing. 

But whether county employees committed crimes is still under investigation,and while a criminal probe continues, staffing is shorter and lines are longer. 

"We used to have 103 employees, and now we're down to 85," Stamson said.

But it shouldn't be hard to find replacements.  700 people have already applied for four open positions. 

"We're going to have ethics training for our employees so they know that they're not supposed to accept bribes, and also we're going to have background checks on new employees," Stamson said.

Stamson added that new and current hires should know, they'll be under a watchful eye.

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