(WMC) - Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk incumbent Joy Touliatos will serve another term after beating her challenger, the embattled commissioner Henri Brooks, in the general election Thursday.
With 19 years of county government experience, Touliatos was hired in the clerk's office in 2002 and then elected to serve as clerk in 2010.
One of the most memorable events during her term: the U.S. Department of Justice released a report in 2012 saying the Shelby County juvenile justice system discriminates against black children and fails to provide safe conditions for juveniles in custody. According to a recent investigation, the detention center seems to be getting better, and the justice department plans to spend three more years in Memphis.
As clerk, Touliatos secured a five-year grant contract in the amount of $961,742.44 for "service of process" in all Title IV-D child support cases.
Her challenger has said "detractors and those opposed to real change have used" recent controversial events "as an opportunity to take the focus off the critical issues affecting children at Juvenile Court and therefore minimizing all that is at stake in this election."
Starting in mid-May and throughout the entire month of June, Brooks continued to surface in the news beginning with seemingly racist comments at a commission meeting. The discussion—caught on camera—started over a bid to a construction company, which employs mostly minorities, for a roof repair on a county building.
After weeks of reaction to those comments, Brooks was arrested following a parking lot incident in which she reportedly yelled racial slurs and dumped water on a woman's head. Brooks surrendered at Jail East and was charged with assault. She posted a $100 bond.
In addition, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation opened a case into Brooks after the Shelby County attorney said the commissioner forfeited her seat because she did not reside at her address in district two, which is where she should had been living since she was elected in 2006.
Touliatos won with more than 55 percent of the votes Thursday. Morrie Noel also ran in the race as an independent.