Herenton has little to say about civil servant story, reaffirms retirement date - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Herenton has little to say about civil servant story, reaffirms retirement date

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton had little to say Monday about a report he delayed his retirement to protect his appointees from losing their jobs after he leaves office.

Herenton said previously he delayed his retirement until July 30 to take care of some unfinished city business.  But a source inside city hall says the mayor's loose ends include protecting his appointees from losing their jobs after he leaves.

When asked Monday, Herenton said a Sunday night report on the topic that aired on Action News 5 was irrelevant.

"Something was on your station about it last night," he said. "I fail to see the importance of it."

If you are an appointee you can be fired on the spot, but for civil servants, there's a lengthy appeal process.  Herenton said the city has bigger issues to tackle.

"Believe me, in the next week and a half I'm trying to sort through a myriad of complex issues," he said, adding his desk is full of important projects.

Herenton said the projects that delayed his retirement do not include Bass Pro's leasing of the Pyramid or redevelopment at the fairgrounds, as incoming Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery recently told the media.

"That's ridiculous.  To my knowledge neither or those programs or projects are near fruition," he said.

Herenton said his retirement delay has good reason, but he will not write a formal letter of retirement as requested by the City Council.

"It kind of bothers me that people think you'll renege on your word," he said.

He then reaffirmed his retirement.

"I am going to retire," he said.

Herenton said he will be more detailed about his retirement delay when he leaves Thursday, July 30th.  He has invited the media to his retirement reception Friday.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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