Berlin Boyd: Chapter 2 TREC


In Chapter 1 I wrote about how Berlin Boyd’s actions against the Overton Park Conservancy caught my attention.  I wrote about his misrepresentations during the 2015 campaign, where he claimed non-existent degrees from an obscure British community college and that he was a Realtor.   We also documented his involvement in a fraudulent day care operation.

Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) administers Real Estate licenses, and it is an offense, punishable by a civil fine, to represent yourself as a realtor without a license.

I filed a complaint on August 10th, 2016.  The appendix contained screen dumps also seen in  Chapter 1 Non-public personal contact details in these documents have been redacted to comply with our privacy guidelines.

When a response seemed overdue, I emailed TREC, and received this reply on September 26th.  Somehow, the certified letter TREC has sent to Boyd’s home address had not been accepted and had not been returned to TREC.   A confidential source at City Hall recounted how TREC ‘s second notification was signed for by a City official and how Boyd exhibited extreme annoyance when given the letter.

Berlin Boyd responded to TREC’s  complaint.  My rebuttal email and the attachment, as well as TREC’s most recent email are available.   All links except the one in the first paragraph are to copies of public documents, which may be obtained via Open Records Act from Tenn. Dept of Commerce, citing TREC complaint number 201604873.   TREC’s legal counsel was reviewing the case as of November, and the case could be dismissed, settled via consent order or go to a public hearing in Nashville.   It is interesting to note that TREC took on this complaint with exactly the same information as was presented to the Memphis news media in 2015, and which they declined to report at the time or since.

Berlin Boyd response is interesting.

  • He starts out apologizing for me. Like I said in my rebuttal: “He apologizes for my complaint where a sincere apology for his own actions would have been appropriate”.  If an apology becomes necessary, I’ll do my own.  This is an ad-hominem attack.
  • He included an excerpt from the Commercial Appeal report of my May 31th arrest in Overton park. He failed to mention that my false arrest for the protected activity of photographing police was dismissed on September 19th, and my record expunged.  This was before his September 26th letter to TREC.   The legality of a public official citing an expunged arrest is doubtful.   As the arrest had nothing to do with Boyd or his Realtor claims, I view this as an ad-hominem attack, designed to discredit me,  rather than any of the evidence I presented.
  • Mr Boyd also said that, subsequently (to the May 30th arrest) that I had been removed from Council chambers and that I had engaged in verbal attacks. This didn’t happen.   The Council meetings are reported in the press and are on video.  I challenge anyone to produce video or evidence of me being thrown out, or engaging in anything but constructive discussion of the issues, with all due decorum.   This is not just an outright lie, like his bogus educational claims, but an ad hominem attack.  In my opinion it reflects a misunderstanding of the First Amendment.
  • He claimed my complaint was a “personal attack”. In fact I did not make any ad-hominem claims in my TREC submission, which was entirely supported by documentation.   His response, however, is largely a personal attack on me.
  • Mr Boyd said in his response that “I do not go on Linkedin” to explain why falsehoods appeared on his profile up to September 2016, when he updated it in response to the TREC complaint. The attachment to my rebuttal contains three dated Linkedin screenshots, showing several changes during the period.   Boyd does go on Linkedin.   His Linkedin profile is no longer viewable by the public.
  • Mr Boyd, in the Linkedin profile and on Ballotpedia, (where he still claims to be a Commercial Real Estate Agent and cites a bogus degree) claims he was a City Councillor from 2011 to present.  He was co-opted to the Council in 2011 for a few months to fill a vacancy, did not stand in the 2011 ballot, and was not on the council in 2012 through 2014. He was again co-opted in 2015 and won election in 2015, taking office on 1/1/2016. In his response, he again used this claim to conflate his 2015 City Council bio, claiming membership of “MARA”, with the 2011 bio, which went away when he was not a councilor.

In summary, the author’s opinion is that, rather than providing contradictory evidence to the complaint, Boyd chose to go ad hominem and to add a couple of more inaccuracies (not going on Linkedin, my being thrown out of Council chambers and claims of continuous Council membership since 2011) to his already numerous prevarications.

The ad hominem is what it is: an admission that he has nothing.  I expected this when I went public with the TREC complaint, and I am happy to let Mr Boyd do his thing.   His reply to TREC, by additional falsehoods on the record and by his apology on my behalf, implies contempt of the lawful process of TREC.   It also suggests that Mr. Boyd’s political judgment is flawed, which also makes him unsuitable for public office.

This is the second in a series of posts on Berlin Boyd.  Future chapters will examine Boyd’s relationship with the press, the TREC outcome, and a review of his public record at City Council.    Sign up for our RSS feed or our e-mail notifications to follow the unraveling political career of Berlin Boyd.  We also have a confidential contact form for whistle blowers and informed sources.

Fergus Nolan

Memphis Truth Commission –


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