Fullilove secure on Council for now

Janis Fullilove
Janis Fullilove

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Will Janis Fullilove lose her Memphis City Council seat now that she's been indicted, charged and arrested?

Janis Fullilove 'the citizen' is in a lot of legal trouble.  Fullilove was indicted this week for making and selling a fake driver's license and then using it, as well as later driving on a revoked license.

"I'm sorry to see this happen but if she broke the law it appears she did, she'll have to pay the consequences like every other citizen," fellow Memphis City Council member Bill Boyd said Thursday.

But Boyd added Janis Fullilove 'the Council member' is not in trouble.

"I know the Council has no legal action we can take," he said.

According to Memphis' city charter, Fullilove's seat on the City Council is secure for now.

"This was not official malfeasance or misconduct," Council attorney Allan Wade said. "This occurred on her personal business."

But what if Fullilove is convicted and winds up serving jail time? The charter says a Council member can be replaced after being absent for 90 days.

"The Council may declare the seat vacant and then replace the seat until a special election can be held," Wade said.

But Council members would still have to vote on whether Fullilove had a good enough reason for being absent. With enough votes, the council could agree to cut Fullilove a break, let her serve her jail time, and go right back to serving the citizens of Memphis.

It's a decision they won't have to make any time soon.

"We'll cross that bridge when we get there," Wade said.

Council Chairman Myron Lowery reiterated the council's inability to take any action against Fullilove, but said he has asked city attorney Elbert Jefferson to investigate the matter and advise the Council.

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