VOL. 133 | NO. 37 | Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Potter Retires As Environmental Court Judge
By Bill Dries
General Sessions Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter announced Monday, Feb. 19, that he will retire from the court he founded effective March 1.
Potter announced his retirement to Shelby County commissioners who will fill the vacancy.
And Potter recommended attorney and city public works deputy director Patrick Dandridge for the appointment.
Potter started the court devoted to hearing blight and code enforcement complaints 33 years ago after being a City Court judge with a regular docket of blight and related complaints within the city of Memphis.
Potter has been elected judge six times in his career.
“I saw men and women living in substandard conditions who came to court and wanted redress,” he told commissioners. “I promised that if ever given the opportunity, I would do something about it.”
The court has also become the setting for public nuisance complaints under state law involving not just blighted properties but street gangs and alleged members of those gangs.
Dandridge oversees code enforcement for the city and he is the supervisor of Shelby County commissioner Eddie Jones, who is a city code enforcement officer. Jones is seeking a county attorney’s legal opinion on whether he can vote on Dandridge.
County commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer said the commission will consider the vacancy and Potter’s recommendation.
“It will be seven votes wins the day,” she said.