Memphis councilwoman files for bankruptcy

(WMC-TV) - In the midst of city budget talks, a Memphis City Council member declares bankruptcy.

Councilwoman Janis Fullilove filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with Action News 5's Jason Miles, she said it was in the best interest of her family.

"We were literally drowning," said Fillilove. "It was a decision that wasn't taken lightly, but a decision my family thought was in the best interest of us."

Serving on the city council is currently her only source of income, but Fullilove blames the family's debilitating debt primarily on mounting medical bills.

"Including myself, my daughter, and now my husband who's recovering from quintet bypass surgery, which is very stressful," she explained.

Fullilove's bankruptcy petition lists debts of more than $100,000 and creditors that include the country trustee and two Tunica casinos.

"Like many families here in Memphis and Shelby County and across the country, you have to make tough decisions for the welfare and benefit of your family and that's what we decided to do," said Fullilove.

She does not believe personal financial struggles affect her ability to help manage the city's money.

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