Shelby County Officials Reportedly Take Pricey European Trip

Various officials from the city of Memphis and Shelby County toured the European countryside at taxpayer expense in May of last year, according to FOX 13 Memphis.

“Most of the days were spent touring historical sites in the European country chosen as the heritage salute for the 2018 Memphis in May International Festival, per the documented schedule. In March of 2018, four Shelby County officials and one Memphis city councilmember stepped inside the Memphis International Airport like thousands of other daily commuters,” according to

“Then-Shelby County commissioner Steve Basar, current-commissioner Willie Brooks, county employee Kim Denbow, former Shelby County mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis city councilmember Berlin Boyd traveled overseas to Prague. The five were part of a 38-person Memphis in May delegation.”

The station reported the trip centered around two cities and a spa town — Český Krumlov, Prague and Karlovy Vary.

“The first day, Sunday, March 25, was a travel day for most, so the schedule wasn’t packed with much; just travel from Prague Airport to Český Krumlov. On Monday, March 26th, instead of business meetings, the delegation went on a walking city tour and visited the famous Český Krumlov castle,” the station reported.

“Day two was another day of tourism, and according to the schedule, no business meetings were schedule. Members of the delegation had the evening to themselves. But they did see the Hluboka Castle as a stop heading back into Prague. After checking in around 4 p.m., travelers had the evening to themselves. It was not until Wednesday, March 28, three days after the group arrived, when the schedule showed the only business, work-related day. The schedule shows the group traversed to the spa town of Karlovy Vary on Thursday, March 29. There the group saw the Jan Becher museum, Moser Glassworks and museum and went to a ‘taking of the waters.’”

Members of the group later “toured the Prague Castle, drove around the city and had a two-hour reception at the residence of US Ambassador Stephen King,” FOX 13 Memphis reported.

On the Czech Republic trip, the group spent at least $21,000 of taxpayer money, the station reported.

“The only known partnership that came from this trip: the University of Memphis agreed to a first-in-the-nation research agreement with the Czech Academy of Sciences,” according to FOX 13 Memphis.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Images “Berlin Boyd, Willie Brooks, Mark Luttrell, Kim Denbow, and Steve Basar” via their respective Facebook pages.





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One Thought to “Shelby County Officials Reportedly Take Pricey European Trip”

  1. paulJ

    This reminds me. Whatever happened to Speaker Casada’s free trip to Israel for legislators? I thought that was a great idea so our legislature could enter the realm of foreign policy but supporting our greatest ally.