Mayor plans to intervene with County Commission opioid lawsuit

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Shelby County Mayor will intervene in a lawsuit filed by Shelby County Commission over the opioid crisis.

Shelby County Commission and Mayor Mark Luttrell filed separate lawsuits concerning the ongoing battle against opioids.

"We will be intervening; we'll be intervening," Luttrell said Tuesday after a judge ruled the mayor had until the end of the year to intervene in County Commission's lawsuit.

Luttrell said he wants to take control of the commission's lawsuit and decide the next steps.

"We may very well move forward with the lawsuit but what we contended, we thought the decision to go with the lawsuit was premature," Luttrell said.

Commissioner Heidi Shafer announced the commission's lawsuit weeks ago. She said she and other commissioners felt they had to do something to get the ball rolling in the fight against the opioid crisis.

Mayor Luttrell claims Shelby County Charter prevents commissioners from filing lawsuits on behalf of the county. Shafer said her interpretation of the charter is different.

"The County Commission did some extraordinary things, but I think they felt they had to because we're at a crisis in our community," County Commission Attorney Allan Wade said.

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