The Metro Council will likely be tasked with considering nominations and appointing a new Davidson County Criminal Court clerk to replace David Torrence, the council’s attorney told The City Paper Thursday.
Torrence, scorned by politicians and subjected to a District Attorney’s Office investigation following a now-infamous television report that revealed he worked three days a week, has requested his Metro pension becomes effective July 16, Metro Human Resources Department spokeswoman Robin Brown confirmed.
“What that means is that he goes from a being an active employee on July 15,” Brown said. “He will be considered a retiree effective July 16.”
Council attorney Jon Cooper said the procedure to replace Torrence is established by a council rule. He said Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors would give notice of the vacancy of the constitutional office at the council’s July 19 meeting.
From there, citizens would have seven days to submit replacement nominations, Cooper said. The nominations would then be sent to the Nashville Bar Association, which would presumably poll its members and offer recommendations.
The council could then vote on nominations as early as the second meeting in August, Cooper said.
He stressed he’s not 100 percent sure of the procedure, but believes this will be the protocol.
One potential candidate to replace Torrence could be Councilman Michael Craddock, who lost to Torrence in the Democratic primary for the clerk's job last year. More recently, Craddock had dabbled as a candidate for mayor before dropping out of the race.
"I'm still thinking through the process, but I am interested in it," Craddock said of the clerk's position. "At this point in my life, I'm interested in saving the taxpayers some money and efficiency in government. However I can contribute to that, I'm more than willing to do it."
In 2008, the council went through a similar process when it appointed Dawn Deaner as Davidson County public defender to replace Ross Alderman, who was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Torrence, who has been earning $125,000 a year as the county’s Criminal Court clerk, had been the focus of an investigation initiated by District Attorney Torry Johnson following a damaging WSMV-TV report.
In the Channel 4 report, Torrence showed no remorse for working only three days of the traditional five-day workweek, setting off a firestorm of criticism from council members and others. He was also videotaped improperly using a government vehicle to pick up alcohol at a liquor store.
Torrence was elected to his fifth four-year term in office last August. His replacement would fill the final three years of that term. The next Criminal Court clerk election is scheduled for 2014.