MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Clerk’s Office will no longer have a branch in Poplar Plaza as of November 9.
According to the Shelby County Government, on October 11, the landlord told the Clerk’s Office that they must vacate the premises within 30 days due to being behind on rent payments for several months.
The branch is located at 3412-A Plaza Drive.
County Clerk Wanda Halbert said in a statement:
“It is with deep regret we are relocating employees from the Midtown location at 3412 Plaza Drive. We have extended our stay and reassigned current employees to other locations.”
Halbert did not say whether any location would replace Poplar Plaza.
Documents obtained by WREG show the lease was up in June but the landlord agreed to a month-by-month lease. Shelby County Commissioner Mick Wright said Halbert hasn’t paid rent at the location since March.
“For some reason, Clerk Halbert simply will not fulfill the duties of her office and so that’s why I’m saying once again, it is time for Clerk Halbert to step aside,” Wright said.
Wright’s calling on her to resign after a slew of issues have caused disruption within the community.
Back in June, an independent prosecutor was appointed to investigate complaints against Halbert. Wright said this just adds to that list.
But in her statement, Halbert said this is all the result of an effort to modernize the customer experience. She said she was searching for new locations, but the county ultimately told her that two potential new locations were too small to accommodate their needs.
Halbert never addresses the overdue rent payments in her statement.
“There’s one common denominator with all of these problems- whether it’s offices closing, whether it’s backlogs, whether it’s having to shut down for weeks at a time, not giving out plates — all of these issues have one common denominator and that’s Clerk Halbert,” Wright said.
We reached out to Halbert directly along with the landlord of the Poplar Plaza property but neither responded to requests for comment.
The same landlord owns the property occupied by the clerk’s office in Whitehaven as well — but at this point, it’s not clear whether Halbert is up to date on those rent payments.