Chancery Clerk Bishop to retire after 20 years

Published 8:34 pm Monday, December 23, 2019

A reception to honor retiring Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop is planned for Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Government Complex.

Bishop, whose last day is Dec. 31, is leaving a job he’s held for 20 years. He said he decided two and a half years ago it was time to retire and spend more time with his wife and family, with as much antiquing as he can fit into his new relaxed schedule.

Bishop was recognized Dec. 16 at his last meeting as secretary for the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors.

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“He has been with Lincoln County for a long time and I’m very proud to have served with him,” said District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown, who was sitting in as president in the absence of District 1 Supervisor Jerry Wilson.

“He has gone beyond the call of duty to help everyone he has come in contact with,” Brown said. “He has been an asset to the chancery clerk’s office for all these years.”

Bishop seemed at a loss for words when his staff filled the back row in the board room in the last few minutes of the meeting. He was surprised by the resolution Brown read.

“It’s been good. I appreciate the folks who have supported me,” he said, his voice breaking.

Bishop said he learned early on that he wouldn’t be able to do the job alone.

“Ronald Reagan said a very smart thing one day. And this is me to a T. I’m not the smartest person in the world but I’m smart enough to surround myself with people who are,” he said, acknowledging his staff. “That’s what you’ve got to do, surround yourself with women like those ladies back there. It’s what makes the chancery clerk’s office click and any other office in county government.”

Bishop thanked the board members for their leadership.

“I’ve often said I would never be a board of supervisors member, I don’t care how much you paid me,” he said. “You are asked to do a job and not funded to do it and if you are funded to do it, you get fired because you’re overtaxing people. I commend you guys for what you do.”

It’s been a memorable year for Bishop.

In May, he became the target for a $165,000 civil demand issued by State Auditor Shad White for failure to reimburse the county for employee salary expenses from his office.

Investigators from White’s office said Bishop failed to reimburse the county for over $125,000 in employee salaries from 2015 to 2018, which was discovered after a field auditor identified accounting irregularities during an audit of Lincoln County. The demand Bishop received is worth $165,813.11 and includes investigative costs and interest.