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Hamilton County District Attorney candidate Coty Wamp has received endorsements from two local police unions. / Contributed photo

Hamilton County district attorney candidate Coty Wamp has received endorsements from two local police unions in her challenge to the position's incumbent.

Wamp, a Republican who serves as general counsel to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, received endorsements from the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 673 and the Fraternal Order of Police Rock City Lodge #22, who represent officers from both the county and the city of Chattanooga.

"It's proof that not only has law enforcement been let down by my opponent, but they believe in me," Wamp said in a Saturday phone interview.

Incumbent Neal Pinkston did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.

(READ MORE: After Soddy-Daisy shooting, Hamilton County DA asks for review of whether political rival tampered with witness)

The Fraternal Order of Police Rock City Lodge #22 praised Wamp, citing her track record.

"FOP Rock City Lodge represents over 500 current and retired sworn law enforcement officers in Hamilton County, and it is our belief that Coty Wamp is the right person for the job of Hamilton County district attorney. Coty Wamp has a proven track record of being fair, tough on crime and a supporter of the men and women in Law Enforcement," the union said in an emailed statement.

In the past week, Pinkston has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into alleged witness tampering involving Wamp in relation to a shooting incident in which she asserted Soddy-Daisy police had arrested the wrong man.

"I think the endorsements coming out on the heels of this political stunt by my opponent speak for themselves," Wamp said.

The International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 673 specifically mentioned the Soddy-Daisy situation in its endorsement, adding that the endorsement "was not taken lightly" and that Wamp's experience positions her to be the best candidate to tackle crime.

"The IBPO has no reason to question Ms. Wamp's integrity or intentions, despite the recent efforts of our district attorney to have Ms. Wamp investigated by the TBI while she was trying to ensure a potentially innocent person didn't go to jail," the union's statement said.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County commissioner proposes prohibiting county funds to pay salaries of constitutional officers' family members)

Wamp, Pinkston, and most other parties involved have declined to comment about the case as the TBI has taken over the investigation of the shooting and Wamp's after-the-fact involvement.

In the Jan. 6 referral, the district attorney alleges Wamp participated in obstruction of justice in the aftermath of a shooting on Barbee Road in which no one was injured.

In the referral, Pinkston said the Soddy-Daisy Police Department relayed that Wamp notified the department it had the wrong suspect in custody following the shooting.

Pinkston went on to say the victims took back their original stories after their interactions with Wamp.

"After this alleged intervention, victims recount original story, deny Hugo Garcia Padilla is suspect and now accuse Hugo Garcia Robles," he wrote in the document, apparently intending to spell recant.

(READ MORE: Tennessee political redistricting having major impact on two state senators' districts)

As of Friday, the Tennesse Bureau of Investigation had not completed the investigation, although a representative said the TBI will share details with the district attorney's office.

"We don't have much to offer right now, other than to confirm we have opened an investigation into the incident and allegations involving Ms. Wamp," said TBI spokesperson Josh DeVine. "Our case remains active and ongoing at this time. Our investigative findings will be shared with the district attorney general, throughout the process, for his further review and consideration."

Contact Logan Hullinger at lhullinger@timesfreepress.com or 814-319-5158. Follow him on Twitter @LoganHullinger.

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