Family Ties in Memphis’ General Services Division Violates City Policy

March 08, 2010

MEMPHIS, TN - Five current and former high-ranking members of the City of Memphis' General Services Division have violated city policy because they are related to employees in their department, according to The Commercial Appeal.

General Services is responsible for maintenance of the city's fleet, operations of city hall and the sale and acquisition of property, among other functions, reported the newspaper.

An investigation by the newspaper revealed that high-ranking officials hired and lobbied to get their relatives - and the relatives of other managers in GS - more hours. In addition, some were able to get multiple "temporary" jobs and later full employment, according to the newspaper.

Former General Services Division Director Estrice Boone, who City of Memphis Mayor AC Wharton recently fired, had at least three relatives who worked in the division last year, which was a violation of city policy.

The policy says no relative of a city employee can be hired or moved into an employment situation where a relative can influence his or her "work responsibilities, pay, performance evaluation, career progress" or other conditions of employment.

Other high-ranking members with relatives employed by the city include the administrator of General Services Operations, a fleet administrator, a fleet heavy manager and a general foreman.

Chief Administrative Officer George Little told the newspaper the city's review of the General Services Division is ongoing and that close attention will be paid to personnel practices in the division.

"In line with this investigation, we are also commissioning an audit review of the division," said Little. "We will implement management-based intervention around problems identified, and we will definitely take appropriate action with respect to any policies that have been disregarded or rules broken by current employees."

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