Repayment of $26,336 sought from former Shelby Democratic chief

A Shelby County Democratic Party subcommittee overseeing mediation with former chairman Bryan Carson has accused Carson of “fraud” or misappropriation and said he should repay $26,336 in party expenses, according to The Commercial Appeal. The newspaper obtained a copy of the proposed settlement agreement.

Former SCDP chairwoman and a subcommittee member Randa Spears verified the settlement offer, which she said was based on two reviews of the SCDP’s finances. Only the first review, showing $6,091.16 in “unsubstantiated activity,” had previously been made public.

Carson declined to comment, but his attorney in the mediation, Robert Spence, said Carson rejects the allegations of fraud or misuse and is only considering settling the expenses brought into question by the first financial review.

“Under no circumstances do any of the facts prove or indicate that Mr. Carson owes anything close to $26,000,” Spence said. “I’m not sure he owes anything.”

The three-member subcommittee ā€” composed of Spears and attorneys Yolander Hardaway and Larry Pivnick ā€” settled on $26,336 by reviewing all party bank accounts over Carson’s tenure, said Spears, who was elected chairwoman shortly after Carson resigned in early 2015. She resigned the post in mid-April this year.

…Del Gill, a member of the SCDP executive committee, said in an email Sunday that the committee’s April meeting was adjourned for lack of a quorum after he proposed turning the investigation into Carson’s handling of party finances over to authorities, and several members walked out of the meeting.

The proposal could be voted on at the next meeting June 2, Gill said.