Grand Jury Indicts Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove


Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons announced Wednesday that the state grand jury for Shelby County had indicted Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove-Chalmers on charges related to allegedly submitting false information to receive a duplicate Tennessee driver license and allegedly driving while her license is revoked.

The grand jury returned an indictment for unlawfully using a state issued driver license (a class C misdemeanor) and fraudulently obtaining a driver license (a class A misdemeanor). The Tennessee Highway Patrol filed these charges against Fullilove-Chalmers last October. A judge in general sessions criminal court sent the case to the grand jury following a preliminary hearing. According to the indictment, on March 25, 2008, Fullilove-Chalmers requested “a duplicate license from a driver license examiner on the basis that her driver license was lost when she was aware that her driver license was not lost, but had been seized by a deputy from the DeSoto County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Office.”

The grand jury also indicted Fullilove-Chalmers for a separate offense allegedly committed on March 18, 2009. The grand jury returned an indictment for driving while her license was revoked (a class B misdemeanor). According to the indictment, Fullilove-Chalmers “unlawfully and knowingly” drove her car on the premises of MIFA, located at 910 Vance Avenue at a time when her “privilege to do so was revoked.”

Tennessee Highway Patrol officers took Fullilove-Chalmers into custody Wednesday morning and she is being held on a $5,000 bond for the most recent charge. She is already in custody on $200 bond for the charges filed against her last October. An arraignment date in criminal court has not been set.

Additionally, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has seized Fullilove-Chalmer’s vehicle in accordance with Tennessee law for a driving while license revoked charge.

“It is our position that Ms. Fullilove has broken the law and continued to drive in Tennessee when she clearly did not have the right to do so. We intend to hold her accountable in accordance with our state laws,” District Attorney Gibbons said.

The maximum punishment for a class A misdemeanor is 11 months, 29 days in prison and a $2,500 fine; a class B misdemeanor carries a six month maximum sentence and a $500 fine; and a class C misdemeanor carries a 30 day maximum sentence and a $50 fine. Assistant District Attorney Bill Bright is handling this case. Bright is the chief prosecutor in the D.A.’s White Collar Crime Prosecution Unit.

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