Memphis-Shelby Schools Hire Lobbyist Tony Thompson

The Memphis-Shelby County unified school system has hired Nashville-based lobbyist Tony Thompson to monitor legislative activity during the upcoming session of the General Assembly, reports the Commercial Appeal.
The Dec. 15 contract with Thompson for $75,000 was done administratively and did not come before the 23-member unified board for consideration. The one-year agreement was signed by Thomas, MCS Supt. Kriner Cash and SCS Supt. John Aitken. That was done per the Shelby County Schools policy, where such matters can be handled administratively.
The former Memphis City Schools required such arrangements, if over $50,000, to come to the school board for review. The handling of such contracts has been a point of discussion during the merger of the two systems.
Billy Orgel, chairman of the unified board, confirmed the hiring of Thompson, son of actor and former senator Fred Thompson.
“He will be our eyes and ears on the ground in Nashville,” Orgel said. “Quite frankly, I think it is a great thing because we need to engage our legislators — not just from Shelby County, but from across the state — and let them know about the good things going on over here in Shelby County. “I think a fresh face — Tony Thompson — will be very helpful to us.”

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