Attorneys agree residency holes in county's charter should be ad - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Attorneys agree residency holes in county's charter should be addressed

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Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford (Source: WMC Action News 5) Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - The Shelby County attorney's office says it cannot comment on a pending matter. Meanwhile, Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford's attorney says his client is in the clear, especially with a county charter so vague about residency.

Despite a lack of utilities at an apartment on Tulane Cove, Commissioner Justin Ford says it is his residence.

"He is under lease, has been under lease for 2 mon-- I'm sorry two years, two plus years," said his attorney, Art Horne. "Under the charter's definition, I think that, I think he's fine on the residency requirements."

Attorney Art Horne was hired to represent Ford once Shelby County Attorney Marcy Ingram told WMC Action News 5 that his residency was under review.

The same office recently concluded Commissioner Henri Brooks does not live in the district in which she was elected to represent.

The county has since voted to start finding her replacement.

But Brooks says she does reside in her district, so, what's the definition of residency?

"That's a good question. That's a good question," said Brooks' attorney, Mike Working. "And almost legally all throughout the case law, residency means not only where you are living at that time, but where you intend to remain."

Working says it's defined in the county charter, just not very clearly.

Horne says he believes Ford is in the clear but argues that holes in the county charter must be addressed.

"That's probably an issue that probably needs to be amended or defined in more detail, but as it stands right now it's pretty vague and it's open for interpretation," Horne added.

As with Brooks' decision, the county attorney will present its eventual conclusion about Ford to the county commission for it to take action if necessary.

Horne says Ford wants to address the public and will likely do so soon.

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