Sunday, August 20, 2023

Davidson County clerks hire relatives for jobs without considering other applicants

By Jeremy Finley, WSMV4, Aug. 15, 2023 - Davidson County criminal court Howard Gentry had an idea for a new job in his department: someone who could work part-time, do social media and outreach for the growing number of people needing expungements in the county. But he didn’t advertise the job or gather applicants, and instead just gave the position to his daughter, Taylor Gentry.

In fact, Taylor Gentry didn’t even have to apply for the job, ...

... Brenda Wynn’s grandson Damien Wynn, as well as her granddaughter and niece, have all received paid internships in her office. ... County records show Damien Wynn stayed with his grandmother’s office after the paid internship and moved into his current job at more than $42,000 a year. Wynn confirmed no one else was considered for her grandson's position ... 

If you’d like to watch the full unedited interviews with both clerks, you can watch them here:

Rod's Comment: This is shameful, and it should not be this way. In his interview Gentry says, "I’m not the first person to have done this." That is true and it is a poor excuse. Corruption is systemic in these offices. These clerk positions are elected and are pretty much independent of the Council and the mayor, not that the city should not try to clean them up and ask the State for help if needed. This is the kind of thing where a Metro Council memorializing resolution and public hearing and holding up approval of the clerk's budgets could make a difference. We should not just accept this as normal.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party never runs candidates for these offices and the Democrat primary is tantamount to the election. The incumbent is seldom challenged, and people get elected to these offices and serve for decades. There is little scrutiny paid to the office and one has to be enormously corrupt and sloppily corrupt before any of these constitutional office empires are ever called to account. 

Thanks to Channel 4 for this reporting. I hope they follow up. I wish that in the incoming Council there would be a good-government crusader who not allow this kind of nepotism to be swept under the rug and who would care about this sort of thing. These offices need scrutiny. 

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