New details about jobs cut from General Services

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - More details emerged Saturday about whose positions were axed from the General Services budget by the City of Memphis.

Friday, Memphis City Chief Administrative Officer George Little announced the administration was sweeping a wide broom through the General Services division.  They slashed eight jobs from the budget.  Two were casualties of restructuring, but the others were linked to an FBI investigation.

"Some of the other names have come up various times for other real or perceived misdeeds," said Little.

The misdeeds include one administrator using tax dollars to buy car parts for his Cadillac Escalade.  Other employees approved a bad order that grounded 90 police cars for months and bizarre dealings with vendors, like Around Town Tire Repair, operating from a vacant lot.

Little said the administration felt General Services could use a clean up even before the FBI considers indictments.

"These are things we didn't think needed to wait until the legal processes ran their course," Little said.

Out of more than 300 General Services employees, most of the cuts come from high-level positions.  Five vacant jobs will remain unfilled.

Though interim General Services Director Rebecca Kissinger's job was not eliminated, she is considering an offer to retire.

Finance and Personnel Administrator Patricia Robinson was cut.  She signed the city's first tire repair contract.

Compliance Officer Terleter Hampton also received a two-week notice.  She has been on paid administrative leave after a May audit revealed she had no prior experience for her job.

Administrative Assistant Director Toya Green did not lose her job, but the administration revoked her status as an appointee.

Operations Administrator Wesley Arije retired.  He was investigated for using city equipment and working on taxpayers' money to run his rental property.

General Foreman Gerald Osborne, who had two family members on payroll, also retired.  He accepted the boggled police car order, and had new troubles.

"They're because of some issues having to do with the way he dealt with subordinates," said Little.  "And had he not retired, he would have been facing disciplinary action in all likelihood."

Other positions cut for no apparent reason were foreman David Horne, two unnamed accounts payable employees and inventory supervisor Michael Barker.

"I think we're still peeling away layers of the onions to some extent, but we've kind of gone beyond issues where we have real concerns about possible criminal behavior," said Little.

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