Ken Moody: On the Record - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ken Moody: On the Record

Ken Moody Ken Moody
Mayor Willie Herenton Mayor Willie Herenton

By Andrew Douglas - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Ken Moody spent 13 years in Memphis City Government, working his way up the ranks to division director.

But for all his accomplishments, Moody's last few months were mired in controversy, when his department was blamed for a staff shortage at the Memphis Rape Crisis Center that delayed rape exams for at least two young victims.

"No one is perfect," Moody said. "We all make mistakes, and so mistakes were definitely made, and I admit to the mistakes that were made."

Moody is a product of south Memphis.  He went to Carver High School, and played basketball at Memphis State.  In fact, Moody compares his time playing for Larry Finch directly to the time he spent working for Mayor Herenton.

"They may have stayed a little longer than they should have," he said.

Moody's work at City Hall began in 1996 as Manager of Community Affairs.  He worked his way up to Division Director of Public Service and Neighborhoods in 2008.

But his 13 years in city government never prepared him for what happened in late April of this year:  There were no nurses on the schedule when two 14-year-old rape victims needed care at the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center.

No nurses meant no evidence was collected for prosecution.

"When I found out that we did not have nurses on staff to provide exams to victims, it was the most disappointing time of my career," Moody said.

It was also the beginning of an onslaught of criticism over mismanagement at the center.  Moody and his deputy director, Yalanda Mcfadgon, were responsible - and on the hot seat.

In May, Action News 5 attempted to talk about the issue with Moody at City Hall, but he offered little comment.

"Just let them know we're concerned about it," Moody was quoted in a May 11 story.  "We're aware of it and we're dealing with it.  We're going to address it."

Now, Moody says he wanted to speak immediately, but couldn't.

"My superiors had asked me not to speak publicly about it," he said.

Moody said Mayor Herenton told him the Mayor's office would handle it - not Moody.  Herenton believed the situation had been blown out of proportion.

"My qualifications and reputation all took the biggest beating, and I thought that was unfair," he said.

Moody showed Action News 5 an internal memo dated one month after the incident, detailing what happened and the actions that were taken.  He admits he should have spent more time at the center. Instead, he managed six other areas in his division, and left MSARC to deputy director Yalanda McFadgon.

"The most frustrating part of my job is I have to have certain types of relationships and spend time with people that I prefer not to spend time with," he said.

Now, the husband and father of three daughter is on his own, ready to begin a new chapter his life. Moody said he is optimistic about the future, and regrets not having a voice those during his final days in city government.
 
"I will say I wish I could have spoken," he said.

Moody said that's why he's speaking now, adding he will never work for a politician again.

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