- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The director of Memphis’ Housing and Community Development department has resigned amid sexual misconduct accusations that authorities are investigating.

According to The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/1UmGCMp), Memphis’ chief administrative officer Jack Sammons said Tuesday the city has received nine accusations of sexual misconduct beginning with the original complainant whose allegations were made public Sunday. The accusations have come from men who were juveniles at the time of the alleged incidents.

No charges have been filed against Lipscomb, who has denied any improper relationship with anyone through his attorney, Ricky Wilkins. Lipscomb told WHBQ-TV that he will be exonerated of any accusations of wrongdoing and that the charges against him are “false, absolutely false.”

Lipscomb was suspended without pay from his job as director of the Housing and Community Development department on Sunday, and he resigned the next day. The Memphis Housing Authority board voted Wednesday to suspend Lipscomb - its executive director - with pay. Wharton has appointed officials to fill Lipscomb’s roles on an interim basis.

The first complainant, a 26-year-old man who lives in Seattle, told the newspaper he first told Memphis police about the alleged misconduct in 2010. The man, who is not being identified, alleges Lipscomb assaulted him four years earlier, when he was 16.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong told WMC-TV that it was difficult to follow up on the investigation because the alleged assault happened years before the complaint was made. Armstrong also said the victim was homeless at the time of the investigation and he did not have an address where officers could find him to ask him questions.

The man contacted the police department again last month, according to an affidavit. Investigators then met with him to follow up on the 2010 complaint.

Wharton said Tuesday that he was unaware of the man’s allegations until he contacted the city last month. Wharton, who is running for re-election, had been in office more than three months when the 2010 complaint was made.

Lipscomb took over leadership of the Housing and Community Development department in 1992. He was away from city government for a brief time in the late 1990s. He has been a key figure in the city’s redevelopment efforts.


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