Former Vice Mayor Howard Gentry interested in Criminal Court clerk position

Monday, July 11, 2011 at 1:17pm

Former Vice Mayor Howard Gentry told The City Paper Monday he’s pursuing the Davidson County Criminal Court clerk position, soon to be vacated by the retiring David Torrence.

“I’m interested in the position because it provides another opportunity to serve the public at the highest level,” Gentry said.

“I have a background with the Criminal Court area,” Gentry said. “I’ve worked as a court officer and law clerk. I’m very familiar with the system. I’m familiar with judges and the legal system, and the different courts in the legal system. I’ve had both governmental and business experience, and nonprofit experience. I just feel this is a unique opportunity.”

The job is set to open July 16 when Torrence, departing after a WSMV-TV report that exposed he worked only three days per week, officially retires.

Metro Council attorney Jon Cooper has said Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors would give notice of the vacancy of the constitutional office at the council’s July 19 meeting.

From there, citizens would have seven days to submit replacement nominations. The nominations would then be sent to the Nashville Bar Association, which would poll its members and offer recommendations. 

Metro Councilman Michael Craddock has also confirmed his interest in the clerk’s position.

Gentry, who finished third in the mayor’s race in 2007 and currently works for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said he had looked at the Criminal Court clerk’s position even before Torrence’s demise, but didn’t want to run against an incumbent.

“I had no idea this would come available, and I’m moving forward,” Gentry said.

Some political observers have speculated that Gentry has become the favorite of Mayor Karl Dean’s office to take a hold of the position.

Gentry said he’s discussed his interest with various council members, but not directly with the mayor.

Mayor’s office spokeswoman Bonna Johnson Friday said the mayor had not received official notification of Torrence’s resignation.

“Until there is a vacancy, this is pure speculation,” Johnson said. “The mayor has not talked directly to Mr. Gentry about the matter. If there is a vacancy, I’m sure a number of people would be interested in the position. The mayor knows Mr. Gentry very well, and certainly thinks highly of him and his leadership skills.” 

14 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 7/11/11 at 12:11

I was thinking, I would take Gentry over Craddock, until it said, he is a favorite of Karl's. That to me is a big minus!

By: global_citizen on 7/11/11 at 12:42

I know Howard Gentry and believe he would be well suited to the job. He'd certainly do a much better job, with much more ethics, than David Torrence.

That said, I generally disdain how Nashville seems to have a revolving cast of political characters who seems to think they should be plugged into any available vacancy in Nashville's public offices (especially if it's a step up for them). The usual suspects are Buck Dozier and Eric Crafton. I hope Howard Gentry isn't becoming another.

By: shinestx on 7/11/11 at 1:07

Why don't politicians ever go away quietly? This all started with Bill Clinton!

By: bfra on 7/11/11 at 1:31

shinestx - The only reason Bush is quiet, is the war monger is afraid he might get arrested for war crimes, especially if he ventures outside of the US.

By: tgm6004 on 7/11/11 at 1:40

he just wants a jjob where he can work 3 days a week

By: pswindle on 7/11/11 at 2:17

Gentry would be a good choice.

By: T-BONE on 7/11/11 at 3:43

The first order of business should be...Joey & Josh TORRENCE, "YOUR FIRED" Don't let the door hit you in the butt!

By: bfra on 7/11/11 at 6:11

T-BONE - Due to the circumstances of their hire, that should be a given!

By: govskeptic on 7/12/11 at 5:27

Mr. Gentry, while being a nice man is not up to running that office. First because he's
just not up to it by any true experience, age is a factor, and work ethic is more
demanding than he's shown in most jobs from the past including at the university!
This appointment should go to someone competent from day one and young enough
to get established and run for the office at the next appropriate election, not one
looking for short term employment of 2 or 3 yrs. Hopefully a better candidates than
the two ready mentioned will be found for this busy, high revenue office!

By: treehugger7 on 7/12/11 at 6:13

Amen, govskep! These revolvoing doors and positions going to the usual suspects is getting old and obviously not working. Why is a court clerk elected? Should they not be chosen by their peers? Elections are not the answer to fill administrative positions! Is that not obvious by now?!

By: bfra on 7/12/11 at 9:10

Who wouldn't want a $125,000 a yr. job, work only when you want to, hire all your relatives & sons, answer to no one and looking at $80,000 a yr pension?

By: caluttc on 7/12/11 at 9:37

No way on Gentry. I supported him on his last run then he waffled and was unloyal to his supporters on the run-off. Also the administration and private sector gave him an easy chair at the Chamber.

By: on 7/12/11 at 11:33

Mr. Gentry did a very good job as a member of the Metro Council and as Vice Mayor. Before that time, he had respectable jobs in higher education, nonprofit services, etc. Then since that time, he has done a lot to help people in need. I will vote for him for Criminal Court Clerk or whatever election he is in. He obviously knows a great deal about how the Metropolitan Government operates and would be an asset instead of an embarassing liabiity (like the person who is leaving office, hopefully along with his children).

By: Nitzche on 7/13/11 at 7:26

qualifications-O-....well he does have one?