DA Launches Investigation Into Criminal Court Clerk - Tucson News Now

DA Launches Investigation Into Criminal Court Clerk

Updated: May 26, 2011

The district attorney announced Friday his office is launching a full investigation into the actions of Criminal Court clerk David Torrence.

It's the latest development after the I-Team first exposed Torrence playing hooky nearly half of last year and admitting he only works three days a week.

Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson announced his office will lead the investigation into Torrence's past records and mileage to determine the full scope of his absences.

"From the moment that report aired, attorneys with our office have been researching laws and reviewing court opinions to determine what options are available and feasible in addressing this behavior," Johnson said in a news release Friday. "Our office, and several others within Metro, has heard from Nashvillians who are rightfully upset by the actions of this elected official."

Johnson said the Metro Council is conducting an audit of Torrence but his office's investigation is independent of the audit. To his knowledge, there was nothing criminal being investigated in the case, said Johnson.

Everything the I-Team has exposed about the work habits, hiring practices and use of taxpayer-funded vehicles by Torrence will be the investigation's focus.

The district attorney has been studying certain laws, sources say, since the I-Team's investigations aired. One law reads that certain legal authorities in the city and the state have the power to remove Torrence from office if they can prove he neglected his duties.

"This is a situation that merits a more thorough, official examination of Mr. Torrence's activities," said Johnson. "It's our intent to look into records from the past several years, including examining mileage of the vehicle assigned to him and determining the full scope of his absences from the office. Once the investigation is complete, we will decide the most appropriate action to take under the law."

The move by the district attorney comes after citizens protested and the Metro Council voted unanimously to ask for Torrence to either resign or for the district attorney, attorney general, Metro's Legal Department or Criminal Court judges to remove him.

After last week's council vote, Torrence told the I-Team he wouldn't resign.

Metro Council members have requested an audit of Torrence's office.

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