Dated September 27, the statement by the chancellors — Walter Evans, Arnold Goldin, and Kenny Armstrong — reads as follows:
Dewun R. Settle, the Clerk and Master of the Shelby County Chancery Court, submitted his resignation today, effectively immediately. We, the Chancellors of the Shelby County Chancery Court, have accepted it.
Pursuant to T.C.A. 18-5-5-1 et seq., the court will begin immediately the process of receiving applications for the now vacant position of Clerk and Master.
Until a new Clerk and Master is appointed, retired former Shelby County Chancery Court clerk and Master John Robertson will serve as Interim Clerk and Master.
Settle is one of three Chancery Court employees who were the subject of an ethics complaint filed this week by Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz, who was reacting to accusations of lax supervision of Court fiscal affairs.
One Court employee, Valerie Nelson, has resigned, following allegations in a report by Shelby County Attorney Kelly Rayne that she accepted, and then covered up, financial favors from an employee she supervised, Brandon Gunn, who is accused in the report of stealing some $1 million in money due citizens involved in tax sales of property. Nelson is also accused of having a romantic relationship with Gunn and lying about it.
Yet another Chancery Court employee, Carlton Brown, is accused of signing payout checks without proper authorization. And Settle has been targeted by various critics for his alleged slow pace in dealing with the mounting irregularities under his nose.
“Why is the Clerk still the Clerk?...We have obvious ethics complaints,” Ritz said in Monday’s Commission meeting. Ritz’s complaint mentions Settle, Nelson, and Wanda Wright, Settle’s chief administrator.