Tennessee governor accepts resignation of Memphis judge indicted on coercion, harassment charges

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday accepted the resignation of a Memphis judge who has been charged with coercion of a witness and harassment, and then jailed after she violated her bond agreement by testing positive for cocaine.

Erin Merrick, Lee’s chief counsel, wrote in a brief letter that the governor has accepted the resignation of Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Melissa Boyd.

Boyd sent a letter Tuesday to the state Administrative Office of the Courts saying she was resigning immediately. That came a day after she sent a letter saying she would step down at the end of May.

A hearing about her removal from the bench had been previously scheduled in the Tennessee General Assembly for Thursday. Under state law, judges can be referred to the Legislature after receiving two public reprimands.

Elected in 2022, Boyd is accused of coercing, influencing or attempting to influence Lashanta Rudd, her former campaign manager, to testify falsely or “withhold truthful testimony” in an official proceeding, the indictment says. The indictment does not describe the official proceeding.