Joseph Lee offered buy-out during Ford fiasco - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jason Miles reports

Joseph Lee offered buy-out during Ford fiasco

While city council members publicly called for Joseph Lee's resignation during the Edmund Ford fiasco, some on the MLGW board apparently worked behind closed doors.

"And I consider that very disrespectful and don't appreciate, and still don't appreciate that," Lee said during a board meeting Thursday.

Lee revealed that Commissioner Nick Clark asked him to come by his office the night Lee testified before a grand jury investigating preferential treatment at the utility.

"And Mr. Clark proceeded to show me 10 ways by which I could resign from MLGW," said Lee.

And that's not all Lee says Clark offered.

"He threw me a little bread crumb on the table and told me if I was willing to resign, he would give me four months severance pay," said Lee. "Isn't that honorable," he added.

Since Lee put everything on the table, other MLGW commissioners confessed they had similar meetings concerning Lee's future.

"To discuss a buy-out proposal or buy-out option for President Lee," said MLGW Board Chairman Rick Masson.

"And I offered to him my opinion regarding his position as president of MLGW," added Commissioner V. Lynn Evans.

Commissioner Clark contends at the time, it made sense.

"At that point in time we had a tremendous loss of public confidence and the question is: how do you go forward from that?" said Clark.

That's something they're still trying to figure out with Lee still on board.

You may recall, Lee did offer a resignation which the mayor refused to accept. We wanted to ask Lee if that was a result of these buy-out offers. But his communications director commanded him out of the board room and away from the media.

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