Gentry picks up high marks for Criminal Court clerk job

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 5:50pm

Nearly 70 percent of the more than 500 members of the Nashville Bar Association have either highly recommended or recommended former Vice Mayor Howard Gentry to fill Davidson County’s vacant Criminal Court clerk position. 

The results, released Tuesday, come one week before the Metro Council is set to choose one of five nominees to replace departed clerk David Torrence, who was roundly criticized after his lazy work habits were revealed. He was likely subject to the state’s ouster clause, prompting his resignation. 

The Nashville Bar Association is the general-purpose Metro bar association in Nashville, and historically releases survey results on candidates for clerk positions. Of the organization’s more than 3,000 members, 508 responded. Lawyers were asked to respond to each of the candidates in one of four ways: “highly recommend,” “recommend,” “do not recommend,” or “no opinion.”

“We don’t interpret the results,” said Gigi Woodruff, executive director of the association. “We just show what it was.”

Gentry, who observers believe has the support of the mayor’s office, bested the other four candidates by a healthy margin, with 45.3 percent of respondents highly recommending him for the office. Another 24.6 percent recommended Gentry hold the job; 10.2 percent did not recommend him; 19.9 percent had no opinion.

Councilman Michael Craddock, who unsuccessfully ran for the job last year but has the support of some council colleagues, saw just 3.3 percent of bar association members highly recommend him. Another 6.5 percent recommended Craddock for the job, but 50 percent did not recommend him. The rest, 40.2 percent, had no opinion. 

Seven percent of bar association members surveyed highly recommended Steve Murff, former program director of the Davidson County Mental Health Court. Another 5.1 percent highly recommended Murff. Nearly 15 percent of bar association members did not recommend Murff, while another 73.2 percent had no opinion.

Frank Friedman, owner of Friedman’s Army-Navy Store on 21st Avenue, had only 3.9 percent of respondents highly recommend him for the job; 10.6 percent recommended him; 17.7 percent did not recommend him; 67.7 percent had no opinion.

Gayle Barbee, director of operations for the state’s Board of Probation and Parole, had just 0.4 percent highly recommend her candidacy; 2.8 percent recommended her for the job; 13.6 percent did not recommend her; 83.3 percent had no opinion of Barbee. 

12 Comments on this post:

By: Ex Civil on 8/10/11 at 6:49

Well as an elected office where popularity is more important that qualifications what difference does it make who gets the appointment, just so long as the appointed person recognizes their lack of qualifications and has the good sense to hire a person with qualification not just connections, heaven forbid.

By: girliegirl on 8/10/11 at 7:18

I sure wish they'd go off the reservation this time ....find someone who's NOT in a political office or ever been in one...who's actually CLERKED before and has the educational background necessary for this position.

By: girliegirl on 8/10/11 at 7:19

And seriously, with sooooo many unemployed people lingering in unemployment lines, this should be quite easy to do.

By: budlight on 8/10/11 at 8:05

I know girlie, but then there would not be the "good old boy" tradition being upheld so we can't do it the logical, unbiased, fair way. Gotta keep the tradition in place! ha ha ha!

By: tenn40 on 8/10/11 at 8:58

Gentry is exactly who we need in this position........another career politician recommended by a bunch of lawyers!!! The political ruling class is taking over!

By: jsnap on 8/10/11 at 9:06

Would someone please look up and see if they recommended Torrence last time and the percentage.

By: jenny37216 on 8/10/11 at 10:43

If qualifications are taken into account, the clear choice for appointment is Steven Murff. With more than 15 years of experience in judicial management, the majority of those in Davidson County, it is clear Mr. Murff should be our next Criminal Court Clerk.

By: bfra on 8/10/11 at 1:45

We certainly don't need someone backed by Dean or a bunch of shyster lawyers!

By: political1iam on 8/10/11 at 3:36

Gentry is a nice enough guy who will hire and keep good people at the Clerk's office so that it can function properly. Torrance was never accused of running a bad office,just that he didn't show up.
Craddock is a bully and a loud mouth who has become a prennenial candidate to satisfy his over inflated ego! He has promised to hire Councilman "Potty Mouth" Hollins as his chief deputy. All he needs to do is hire Jim Gotto and we would have the 3 Stooges running the Clerk's office.
Hopefully our elected represenatives have the good sense to vote for Gentry or one of the other qualified candidates!

By: govskeptic on 8/11/11 at 5:11

What choice did they have! Other good and qualified candidates know the system
is rigged as a popularity contest within the Council and Courthouse insiders, so
they don't want to be embarrassed by putting their names forward only to be turned
down or have some irrelevant nasty remarks made about them in the press!

By: bfra on 8/11/11 at 6:59

Torrence didn't run the office, he wasn't there enough! His, what I am sure he considered underlings, ran it. Why not give the job to Torrence's assistant? Gentry, as far as I have had dealings with, is a nice enough guy, but Karl is backing him & that would block him out, if I was voting. Hope the council has enough. non Karl puppets, to make a fair & honest decision.

By: wasaw on 8/11/11 at 4:07

How about Tommy Bradley? What has Gentry done rate even being considered. He's always been a black hack.

Bradley has been running the office as Chief Operating Officer for the past several years. He's the reason why Torrence could stay away and do his yard work.

He very well could be the one who snitched Torrence, and if he is, I say Kudos!

Let's stop putting political hacks into government jobs.