Good Enough for Government Work


Davidson County, Tennnessee, Criminal Court Clerk David Torrence has a pretty sweet gig: a $120,000 annual salary, five weeks of paid vacation, and a government car.

But he still can't drag his ass into the office more than three days per week. Nashville's WSMV reports:

On April 6, while Torrence's employees at the clerk's office were working, the I-Team found him at home picking up sticks and spraying his yard for bugs.

On April 8, he never went to the office. He spent part of the day using his county car instead of his personal Corvette to run errands. From his home, he drove to a bank then to a liquor store. He got back in the car and headed home…

As the criminal court clerk, his only duties lie in the office, keeping the criminal courts operating. But the garage card swipes show he wasn't in the office for about half of 2010.

"You only worked about 50 percent of the time; only 50 percent of the time you were in this office. How do you explain that?" asked I-Team chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.

"It is what it is," Torrence said. Torrence said he takes Wednesdays and Fridays off every week.

"I'm working Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays," said Torrence…

The news team also found 18 weeks in which Torrence only worked two days.

In fairness to Torrence, he didn't spend all of those off days doing yard work or running personal errands in his government-issued car. Sometimes, he explained, he also played golf. He added that he has no plans to change his work habits, noting, "I've now been elected to my fifth term, so I must be doing something right."

It isn't in the linked article, but the report I caught last night also said Torrence recently had two openings in his office. But he didn't bother advertising those vacancies. Instead, he hired his sons.

I don't really see a problem with this, either. We shouldn't expect one of the highest-paid government officials in Nashville to carry his own clubs.