Embattled Shelby County Judge Melissa Boyd Resigns Amidst Controversy and Removal Hearing

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Melissa Boyd, who has faced numerous controversies during her time on the bench, has submitted a resignation letter, indicating her desire to step down from her position immediately. This news comes just a day after it was reported that Boyd sought to retire at the end of May. The long-awaited removal hearing before the Tennessee General Assembly, scheduled for Thursday, will likely be canceled now that Boyd has chosen to resign.

According to Boyd’s attorney, Brain Faughnan, the judge has expressed her willingness to move up the effective date of her resignation. However, the resignation will only become official once Tennessee Governor Bill Lee gives his approval.

Boyd has been subject to multiple reprimands from the board since she was elected in 2022. Allegations against her include soliciting money for a school using a picture of herself in her judicial robe, harassment of another woman, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction. One of the reprimands required Boyd to seek treatment, but she entered the treatment program only after her indictment.

The most significant accusations against Boyd stem from a woman who claims to have been her campaign manager. Boyd denies having a campaign manager and insists that the two women were involved in a relationship at one point. The campaign manager alleged that Boyd would show up at her home and berate her. She also accused Boyd of attempting to pressure her into recanting her statements to the oversight board, using threatening language and sharing private information about her divorce.

In addition to the ethical concerns, Boyd is facing criminal charges of coercion and harassment related to the allegations made by her former campaign manager.

As news of Judge Boyd’s resignation broke, Sen. Raumesh Akbari, who served on the committee that unanimously recommended Boyd’s removal, noted that the potential removal vote would become obsolete if Boyd resigned immediately.

Prosecuting Boyd’s criminal case, District Attorney Frederick Agee had been working with Boyd’s legal team to secure a transfer order that would allow Boyd to be present at the removal vote. However, with the revocation of Boyd’s bond after she tested positive for cocaine and alcohol, the transfer order will be canceled upon the governor’s acceptance of her resignation.

The resignation letter, addressed to the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts, marks a crucial development in the Boyd saga. With her immediate resignation, Boyd’s tenure as a Criminal Court Judge for the 30th Judicial District At Memphis is coming to an end, though the official finalization remains pending.

In conclusion, Judge Melissa Boyd’s decision to submit her resignation letter effectively ends her controversial stint on the bench. While allegations of ethical and legal violations have plagued her tenure, her resignation signifies a departure from the public spotlight, offering a chance for the judicial system to move forward without further disruption.