AWOL: Wanda Halbert Shuts Down Clerk’s Office, Vacations in Jamaica

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Local News, Memphis | 0 comments

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Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert is facing a firestorm of controversy after she shut down the clerk’s office and went on vacation.

Halbert had told reporters that the office was being shut down for a week so that her staff could catch up on a massive backlog of car tags.

But it turns out she’s on the beach in Jamaica.

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Halbert said in a letter to county officials that the closure was needed for her staff to “continue catching up on outstanding backlogs as a result of customer mail services being STOPPED for more than 2 months in May.”

State Comptroller Jason Mumpower was enraged and accused Halbert of being AWOL.

“The clerk’s decision to travel to Jamaica this week shows that her apologies were meaningless. Her decision to take a trip damages her credibility and shows a complete lack of awareness,” he said. “The clerk is AWOL while her staff is left behind trying to clean up the mess.”

Many motorists have been waiting months for their car tags while Halbert and County Mayor Lee Harris blamed each other for the backlog.

“The clerk’s trip shows a lack of leadership and concern for her staff who are left to address the backlog without her presence in the office. It also shows a lack of respect for the citizens of Shelby County who are forging many of the clerk’s services this week in hope that she is addressing her office’s deficiencies during the closure,” Mumpower said.

Todd Starnes, the owner of KWAM NewsTalk Memphis, blasted Halbert, Harris and the Shelby County Commission.

“Shelby County government has failed the people,” Starnes said. “It’s time for Gov. Bill Lee to intervene.”

Starnes was especially disgusted that voters rejected Halbert’s opponent in the August election.

“They had a chance to support Jeff Jacobs — her Republican opponent. But they declined to do so. They preferred incompetence,” Starnes said. “And incompetence is what we are going to get so long as the voters cast ballots based on race and political affiliation.”

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