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Neighbors: We've never seen Brooks at the house where she claims to live

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After Wednesday's Shelby County Commission committee meeting, Henri Brooks' lawyers gave WMC Action News 5 the address where the commissioner supposedly resides. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) After Wednesday's Shelby County Commission committee meeting, Henri Brooks' lawyers gave WMC Action News 5 the address where the commissioner supposedly resides. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
SHELBY COUNTY, TN -
(WMC) - A Shelby County Commission committee voted to declare Commissioner Henri Brooks' seat vacant on Wednesday. Her lawyers say what happened at the meeting is unprecedented. 

The 7-4 vote happened after Brooks showed up to the commission meeting and participated, despite an investigation that determined she does not live in the district in which she was elected to serve.

"I do not feel my seat has been vacated based on any issue of face or findings of fact," she said at the meeting. "There have been no findings of fact."

Shelby County Attorney Marcy Ingram advised commissioners that Brooks' seat has been forfeited. She also said it is the commission's responsibility to fill the vacancy.

If the vacancy passes the full county commission vote on July 7, county leaders will begin the process of filling her seat.

"The right thing to do, morally and ethically, would be for Commissioner Brooks to either show everyone where her house is, I mean if she's got nothing to hide, or step down and be the leader she professes to be," Commissioner Chris Thomas said.

"There's no question in my mind, that if we didn't have a campaign going on, we wouldn't be having this controversy. She'd be gone," Commissioner Mike Ritz suggested.

After Wednesday's Shelby County Commission committee meeting, Henri Brooks' lawyers gave WMC Action News 5 the address where the commissioner supposedly resides. That address is 1177 Mississippi Boulevard.

WMC Action News 5's Justin Hanson asked a resident across the street from the address if she'd ever seen Commissioner Brooks.

"No I haven't, not ever in this neighborhood. They gave you the wrong address," Gardenia Cates said.

Brooks' lawyers say she lives with an elderly woman at 1177 Mississippi Boulevard, but no one there has ever seen her go in and out of the house.

"It's an elderly lady that lives there. They just gave you the wrong address. We've been living here over 21 years, and we've only seen her on TV," neighbor Tanzie Brown added.

Meanwhile, Brooks continues to defend herself, saying that there's never been any factual findings to prove that she does not live in her district.

"The commission heard from the prosecutor, skipped over the trial, the guilt or innocence phase, and preceded to the sentencing," said Michael Working, who is one of Brooks' attorneys.

Brooks released a statement concerning the residency investigation:

"The county attorney's decision was made on the absence of proof. It was made to get me off this body and out of the Juvenile Court Clerk's race. And it was made because they control the machinery and resources to do so.

Regardless of the vote of this body, I will never abandon the fight for our children, and I will appeal this entire process. Due process rights are fundamental to our justice system, and this process cannot violate that right.

I will continue to advocate for my constituents, improve the lives of all of Shelby County's citizens, and empower families and children."

Commissioner Brooks plans to appeal the vacancy, saying she's been denied due process of law.

"The next step will probably be to go to court and stop this train, this runaway train," Brooks' attorney Andre Wharton said.

The Shelby County District Attorney's Office says there will not be an investigation unless it is determined by the county attorney that something criminal took place.

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