Luttrell vows to veto resolution Commission passed on juvenile court oversight

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Commissioners passed a resolution in opposition to a request from Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Sheriff Bill Oldham, and Juvenile Judge Dan Michael to the federal government to end oversight of the juvenile court.

Luttrell, Oldham, and Michael jointly sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking the Department of Justice to stop the federal oversight of Shelby County Juvenile Court. The letter cites the court has made progress and should be allowed to come out from under DOJ oversight. However, many commissioners disagree and said it will hurt the children.

As a result, the Commission passed a resolution directly in opposition to the request. Seven commissioners voted in favor of the resolution and four abstained.

But, the resolution will likely not go anywhere.

The controversy had been brewing for more than a week when word spread that county leaders asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after his trip to Memphis last month, to end federal monitoring at juvenile court, which has been in place since 2012.

Some commissioners were visibly angry with Luttrell last week, wondering why they were shut out of the decision.

Monday afternoon, Luttrell told commissioners they were wasting their time discussing the resolution because he would veto the letter anyway.

"This is a waste of time; all would be much more effective if you would write letters to the AG, if you would just group sign a letter to the AG, that would have more impact than what you're doing now," Luttrell told commissioners.

But commissioners said the issue is all about the children.

"We're talking about kids. These are not adults," Commissioner Van Turner said. "Kids that are being mistreated so badly the federal government had to come in and say stop."

Other commissioners were angry that talk over the juvenile monitoring seemed to take precedence over budget talks.

Commissioners delayed budget talks until later in July.

There's still no word from the Justice Department on the county's request.

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