More scrutiny over MLGW bodyguard - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

More scrutiny over MLGW bodyguard

It all started during a Memphis City Council committee meeting last week. MLGW President Joseph Lee declared he did not have a bodyguard.

"I'm very disappointed that obviously Mr. Lee lied to the council," says councilman Jack Sammons.

He points to a personnel file acquired by Action News 5. While the job title is Section Supervisor for Corporate Security, duties include escorting the President & CEO and to provide protection from bodily injury, using physical force or firearms as needed. As we've reported, employee David Winston was even sent to an executive protection program in Maryland, costing the public utility more than $3000.

"We're sending body-guards to be trained at expensive schools and to tag along with the CEO," says Sammons. "That's a bad idea and I'm against it," he adds.

Joseph Lee, who declined to speak on camera, says criticism over security is senseless finger-pointing. He says he's helped MLGW "cut millions" in excessive spending, yet he's "still being ridiculed." Basically, he says he "can't win for losing." Councilman Sammons says Lee still has a lot to learn.

"Leave the body-guard in the car and go out there and talk to people who are challenged to pay their bill, disgusted with government waste," says Sammons. "Hear what they have to say and tailor his organization accordingly," he adds.

Meantime, Sammons says scrutiny over MLGW, it's budget, and it's President will not stop in the new year.

Late Friday we got an official response from MLGW's communications director. It says critics of Joseph Lee's security are "a few disgruntled individuals who have nothing to offer but biased and destructive behavior."

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