Jones wants Allan Wade out as council attorney

A member of the Memphis City Council wants to give the council's attorney the boot.

Councilman E.C. Jones says recent newspaper reports about an influential Memphis developer have gotten his attention. But he says he's most concerned because the developer and the City Council have the same lawyer.

"If you're representing city council, personally I don't think you should be representing people who come before the council," Jones said.

Attorney Allan Wade has taken heat in recent newspaper reports for representing embattled developer Rusty Hyneman in private matters.

In a letter to the Council's chairman, E.C. Jones says Wade should resign because he represents Hyneman, MLGW and Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton. And if he doesn't resign, Jones wants him fired.

"If I'm getting a divorce, and you're my wife's attorney, and you're my attorney, who you gonna favor in this thing?" asked Jones.

"I've never represented Mayor Herenton. I don't know where he's getting that from," said Allan Wade.

Other council members says Wade's private clients have never created real conflicts.

"Allan has always been able, in my opinion, to segregate himself from his other clients. He's never given opinion, that I'm aware of, that has any relation to Hyneman or any of the others to us as it relates to council work," said Councilman Jack Sammons.

In an interview with Action News Five, Wade showed us an opinion from the state Board of Professional Responsibility which, he says, he sought in the nineties to guide his legal work for the city.

"This opinion, in my opinion, clears me of any impropriety, any unethical conduct and anybody that knows me knows that I am very careful to make sure I have my behind covered before I go anywhere involving my ethics," said Wade.

Wade says he has no intention of resigning.

We spoke with Council Chairman Edmund Ford this afternoon. He says he too has no intention of firing Allan Wade. But, he says, he would bring the issue before the full Council before doing anything.