Shelby Count Commission takes up Garage Gate controversy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby Count Commission takes up Garage Gate controversy

New documents are fueling the fight over who's to blame for Garage Gate, and Wednesday, Shelby County Commissioners wanted to know who was responsible, and if the controversial outcome was intentional.

The FedExForum garage is now considered by most a "bum deal."  Now, more than one Shelby County Commissioner believes there was an intentional mis-use of money.

"It was designed to line the pockets of some of the primary people in these transactions," said commissioner Walter Bailey.

Despite millions specifically earmarked, a bus transfer station was never built, a number of public parking spaces were never included, and an entire level of the parking garage was never completed.

"I'm not going to draw a conclusion until I see the evidence," said commissioner Bruce Thompson.

That evidence includes a time-line made available by the City of Memphis for the first time Wednesday morning.  It details meetings and discussions regarding the garage over a four year period.  The bus terminal is part of the plan throughout.

"Going through the motions with TDOT, and the moment the money was committed, it changed," said commissioner John Willingham.  While he and others are convinced of wrongdoing, the county attorney Brian Kuhn said his investigation is not meant to find a guilty party.  Kuhn's office is currently sifting through the tons of paperwork.

"All I can do is say who was there, what was decided, what knowledge these people had for their decision, and what actions took place," Kuhn said.  Pursuing criminal charges would be up to the district attorney.

Commissioners not only want to find out who is responsible for garage's outcome, but want to know if the situation can be remedied, and if a bus transfer station can still be installed at the Forum.

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