Former court manager investigated for forging divorce documents

A former manager at Shelby County Chancery Court is under investigation amid allegations she forged her own divorce documents.
A former manager at Shelby County Chancery Court is under investigation amid allegations she forged her own divorce documents.

(WMC-TV) - A former manager at Shelby County Chancery Court is under investigation amid allegations she forged her own divorce documents.

The building itself appears to be a symbol of law and order, but more and more reports of alleged crimes and disorder keep coming out of Chancery Court.

This time, the District Attorney's office is investigating former manager Veronica Nelson for allegedly forging a document in her own divorce, and steering her divorce case to a judge of her choice.

The certificate that raised red flags is for a parenting class from Southwest Tennessee Community College.

The clerk's stamp says July 25, 2010, but the date of completion on the certificate is July 17, 2008 - well before Nelson filed for divorce.

The Assistant Shelby County attorney said in a letter that officials at STCC never received any tuition payment from Ms. Nelson for the course, and her name was not on the roll.

Nelson's attorney, Jay Bailey, agrees that the document is forged, but he says Nelson isn't the one who falsified it.

"She absolutely did not do this. She didn't even know that it had been done," Bailey said. "I think that someone was trying help her, and really hurt her."

Bailey initially thought that someone was Brandon Gunn, a bookkeeper who records show showered Nelson - his supervisor - with gifts and money. Gunn resigned amid allegations that he embezzled $1 million from the court.

"I'm not so sure about that anymore," Bailey said.

Bailey will not say who he now thinks is responsible for forging Nelson's documents.

A Shelby County ethics investigation has already found sufficient evidence to suggest Nelson steered her divorce suit to a preferred judge.

But Bailey said Nelson denies it.

"There's no benefit whatsoever in an uncontested divorce having the divorce heard by a particular Chancellor," he said.

Interim Court Clerk John Robertson replaced Dewun Settle after he resigned. Robertson said it appears the process to select Chancellors at random was violated in two uncontested divorce cases, one involving a former manager.

Robertson said there is no known pattern of abuse.

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