City Council to subpoena District Attorney to answer VRI questions

City Council to subpoena District Attorney to answer VRI questions

March 22nd, 2016 by Shelly Bradbury and Steve Johnson in Local - Breaking News

Chris Anderson

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

In an unprecedented move, the Chattanooga City Council voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to subpoena Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston to appear before them to explain his reluctance to enforce the city's anti-gang violence program.

The council members were upset by Pinkston's refusal to appear at a panel discussion the council held Tuesday with area law and judicial officials, including Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher, assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poole, Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw, and Circuit Court Judge Tom Greenholtz.

Adding fuel to the fire, Pinkston wrote a letter a few hours before the council meeting criticizing the council, the police department and Mayor Andy Berke. In the letter, Pinkston declared that the city's Violence Reduction Initiative is a failure and said he is launching his own anti-gang efforts.

Near the end of the 90-minute discussion, Councilman Chris Anderson made the motion which was adopted with no discussion.

The subpoena will call for Pinkston to appear before the council a week from today.