General Sessions Court Clerk TN Otis
Former Shelby County TN General Sessions Court
Clerk Otis Jackson is lucky he wasn't jailed for
contempt of court after he refused to follow a
judge's orders. Now his official misconduct case
will go to trial.
A state grand jury indicted the 51-year-old
Jackson on four counts of official misconduct in
July 2011. The criminal charges, each a Class E
felony, involve allegations that Jackson coerced
members of the clerk's staff into giving money
to his 2012 re-election campaign.
In Fridays proceedings, he
was supposed to enter into an agreement with
prosecutors and get diversion which would have
meant that if he stayed out of trouble for a
year, the official misconduct charges would be
wiped off his record. Instead, Jackson defied
Judge Walter Kurt by repeatedly refusing to be
sworn in. Even after whispered discussions with
his attorney, the former clerk would not raise
his right hand and be sworn in.
Exasperated, the judge finally asked, "Is there
a problem? . . . you're the only person that
I've ever run across that refused to be sworn in
court, which is kind of odd and really
"I don't agree with these proceedings, I
shouldn't be here, this is all some crap,"
Jackson replied. Finally, with the threat of
possibly being taken to jail, Jackson did what
he was told.
With diversion off the table, the case will go
to trial in February. If a jury finds Jackson
guilty, he could face up to 24 years in prison.
Jackson is one of nearly 100
elected officials and public employees charged
with corruption in Memphis and Shelby County
over the past decade.
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General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson
indicted by state grand jury - The
Former Clerk Back Talks Judge, Forces Case to
Trial - ABC News 24