Commissioners continue hostilities with Mayor Luttrell over opioid epidemic

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Some Shelby County Commissioners may appeal a judge's decision that put the mayor in charge of the commission's opioid lawsuit.

"I think we're probably going to end up appealing it," Commissioner Terry Roland said.

Roland was one of the commissioners who created their own opioid crisis task force, despite Mayor Mark Luttrell's Office already having its own opioid task force.

It's the latest in a line of back and forth between commissioners and the mayor--including the dueling lawsuits designed to confront the opioid epidemic in the county.

A spokesperson for Luttrell said the administration is beginning to try to sort the commission's opioid lawsuit out. It's a lawsuit Commission Chairwoman Heidi Shafer filed because she and other commissioners felt there wasn't enough being done to fight the opioid epidemic.

Now, thanks to the judge's ruling, Luttrell has the ability to alter the lawsuit and make it his own.

"The lawsuit goes forward, and that's a win for the people," Shafer said. "What this whole thing has been about is try to drive action."

Luttrell said Shafer's lawsuit was unnecessary because his administration was in the process of filing it's own lawsuit.

"This is about ruffling a few feathers to get people out of their comfy nest," Shafer said.

Political minds in Shelby County speculated that Luttrell may decide to make Commissioner's pay for the lawsuit, in a continuation of the back and forth between both sides.

"The mayor can claim anything he wants," Rowland responded. "We're over the money."

"If the mayor doesn't want to do it, it's not him not signing the check. All he has to do is veto it," Commissioner Eddie Jones said.

Luttrell released the following statement Wednesday about commissioners starting their own opioid task force:

"Our Opioid Task Force has met for months, led by Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter.

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