Main Street Journal

How Memphis City Government is Spending Your Money on Lavish Attorney Fees


Joe Saino
The following is an excerpt from our November issue. Subscribe now.

By: Joe Saino

November is a very significant month for me as it was three years ago in November 2004 when I started on my journey of enforcing the Tennessee open records laws on a reluctant group of local government institutions and quasi government bodies. I started with the City of Memphis by requesting from Sara Hall the information about how much had Allan Wade and his law firm been paid by the City and by the City Council during the years 2003 and 2004.

Sara acknowledged my open records request promptly and then never responded further until I filed suit in Chancery Court in February of 2005. Only then did I get the information.

Allan Wade has the best of both worlds. He is a part time employee of the City Council as their part time attorney and received at that time a salary of $58,000 per year plus of course the roll-up cost that all city employees receive. Also he is on the City pension system and has health insurance with the City paying 70% of the cost. His salary then was increased from $58,000 to $80,000 per year and in addition to that, he was paid $250,913.75 for legal fees in 2004 and had received $165,446.93 in 2005 up to March of that year.

Hiding the Light: Turmoil at the Commercial Appeal


Commercial Appeal Building
The following is an excerpt from our November issue. Subscribe now.

By: Michael Roy Hollihan

Something very important happened at the Commercial Appeal in October, a revelation of huge importance for readers and for Memphis. So important, in fact, that there was very nearly a revolt in the newsroom.

But if you didn’t read a couple of websites here in Memphis, you’d have never known about it. In fact, you may still not know about it.

On October 16th, the Smart City Memphis blog published a scathing post revealing that the daily had a deal with FedEx whereby a series of upcoming articles, to be called “Memphis and the World,” would be “sponsored” by FedEx. This wasn’t just selling advertising, and it wasn’t a themed special section where advertisers would be recruited around lighter, feature stories. This was f