Woman Lost Job Over Political Ambition - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Woman Lost Job Over Political Ambition

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by Marcus Washington

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A juvenile court employee lost her job just hours after she made it known she is running for a judge's seat, currently held by her boss.

Since she was a small child, Sheila Calloway, knew what she wanted to do with her life.

"My mom use to keep all of our papers and I had written a paper when I was in 4th grade that said when I grew up I wanted to be a lawyer," said Calloway.

So after graduating from Vanderbilt Law school, this mother and wife went on to work for the public defender's office and later juvenile court.

Last year, when Judge Green retired, Calloway hoped she would be chosen as the new Juvenile Court Judge by Metro Council, but that didn't happen.

"The council selected Judge Crawford, but even after that I still had the same dream," said Calloway.

So a year later, Calloway decided to tell her boss, Judge Sophia Crawford, she plans to run against her in the democratic primary for her job and "at the end of the day I received a letter stating that she accepted my resignation," she said.

Calloway said she didn't technically resign, but because of a policy forbidding any employee from running for an elected office, she was relieved from her duties.

"But it's not a new policy, it's one that has been around the whole 11 years I have been here and we're all aware of it," said Judge Crawford.

The judge said the long-time policy was put in written form over the summer, but it isn't the only thing that would have forced Calloway to resign.

The former magistrate would have had to resign from her position whether the policy was in place or not; that's because of the law called the "little hatch act." It says anyone running for an elected partisan position cannot hold a position that uses or partially uses federal funds.

"She knew she that she had to leave. I don't know if she knew she had to leave because of the hatch act or she was relying on the policy itself," said Crawford.

The policy at juvenile court is not uncommon. There are similar policies set by the state trial courts, general sessions court, and the Davidson County district attorney's office.

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