Ministers call for Herenton to further postpone resignation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ministers call for Herenton to further postpone resignation

Memphis Rainbow PUSH President Dr. LaSimba Gray led a news conference Tuesday to call for Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton to delay his retirement until February 20, 2010. Memphis Rainbow PUSH President Dr. LaSimba Gray led a news conference Tuesday to call for Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton to delay his retirement until February 20, 2010.

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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - "Though he has resigned and rescinded, we're asking him to do it again."

With those words, Memphis Rainbow PUSH President Dr. LaSimba Gray led a news conference Tuesday to call for Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton to delay his retirement until February 20, 2010.

"It's not in the best interest of the media, not in the best interest of Dr. Willie Herenton, not in the best interest of Dwight Montgomery, but in the best interest of this community," SCLC President Dwight Montgomery said.

Montgomery, State Representative GA Hardaway and other area ministers joined Gray to announce the three reasons they want Herenton to hold off.

First, to avoid the expense of a special election.  "To save the city and county a million dollars," Gray said.

Second, to allow more time for an orderly transition because, and third, because they plan to sue the city over what they call "unresolved issues" over the separation of powers law.

Under former Charter Commission Chairman Myron Lowery, voters approved the mayor pro-tem position to allow the city council chairman to automatically take over, but to also keep his or her council seat.  The ministers say, unlike former interim mayor J.O. Patterson, current Council Chair Lowery would covet two seats of power.

"This is a mayor pro-tem," Hardaway said. "J.O. Patterson was a mayor. Two different things all together."

Attorney Jay Bailey will represent the ministers and lawmakers.

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