Former Democratic chair deemed ‘not fit’ for party label

The Shelby County Democratic Party executive committee voted 14-5 Thursday night to declare former chairman Bryan Carson “not fit” to run for public office as a Democrat, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Executive committee member Del Gill proposed the resolution, which reiterated accusations made in a resolution approved by the committee June 2 that Carson embezzled “at least $25,000” during his tenure as committee chairman.

Gill has filed a criminal complaint against Carson, and said the investigation is ongoing.

“The intent here is that Mr. Carson has some personal issues he needs to address,” Gill said.

Carson, who denies the allegations, can appeal the vote to Tennessee Democratic Party chairwoman Mary Mancini, SCDP officials said at the meeting. Both Carson and his mother, Gale Jones Carson, are on the state executive committee.

“I was unaware they were taking that vote,” he said late Thursday. “I’ll contact chairman Pope and Mary Mancini this weekend and see what I need to do as far as getting bona fides back. I thought all this was over with.”

The controversy has been festering for more than a year after bubbling over in February 2015, when Bryan Carson resigned after he couldn’t account for some expenses during his tenure as chairman. He has already paid hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees he incurred, and gave the SCDP $2,000 in February.