FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shelby County Election Commissioner Needs to Step Away
Memphis, TN – August 16, 2010 – Citizens of Memphis and Shelby County will soon get a historic opportunity to decide if they want a consolidated government. Because this decision requires an honest and transparent election, SaveShelbyCounty.org is asking Brian Stephens to step away from his duties as a Shelby County Election Commission Board member.
To be honest, Brian Stephens’ work as executive director of the pro-consolidation group, Rebuild Government is a conflict of interest with overseeing this November referendum. The group is actively asking voters to “Vote For The New Charter.” Voters have a right to be skeptical of his impartiality when Brian recently claimed that, "I understand how difficult it is to become an “informed” voter and not a “worn out, too tired to care” voter. Heck, I serve on the election commission and approved the ballot for the August elections…” (Brian Stephens, July 27, 2010 Smart City Memphis)
Voters deserve someone who is beyond reproach in administering free and fair elections, whether it is for a candidate or a referendum this November. It is obvious, that Stephens can’t wear two hats. Clearly there is a conflict of interest.
It’s laughable that Rebuild Government lauded its “paid” efforts on an ethics policy with the charter commission. What is really needed is a new and refreshed commitment to good governance at all levels of public service. Let’s remind those pushing on both sides that the hallmarks of good governance are transparency, openness, and ethical conduct. It time for a new era in Memphis and Shelby County politics.