District Attorney Torry Johnson’s investigation into the work habits of outgoing Criminal Court Clerk David Torrence found justification to remove him from office through the state’s “ouster clause.”
The findings, delivered to the media Friday but to Torrence two weeks ago, suggest the much-ridiculed clerk was likely to be pulled from his office, thus accelerating his resignation. Torrence’s resignation became official Friday. He will no longer be a Metro employee beginning Saturday.
State law says Criminal Court judges are empowered to remove the clerk for “incapacity, neglect of duty or misbehavior in office.”
“It was under this law that Johnson intended to act, but now that Torrence has resigned, there is no need to pursue this remedy,” a District Attorney’s Office press release reads.
On Friday, Criminal Court judges appointed Deputy Clerk Tommy Bradley as the interim clerk until the Metro Council appoints a new one.
Former Vice Mayor Howard Gentry and Metro Councilman Michael Craddock are among candidates positioning for the clerk’s job.
The district attorney’s probe into Torrence found a number of startling pieces of information, including some facts not reported in the original WSMV-TV investigation that led to Torrence’s demise.
Between January 2009 and April 2011, Torrence completed only one five-day workweek.
During that same period, the investigation found Torrence averaged no more than 19 hours of work per week. In 2009, Torrence missed 78 days of work; 91 days in 2010; and in the first five months of 2011, 37 days.