Ryan Poe, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell vetoed another County Commission resolution Tuesday as he continued asserting his control over the county’s opioid lawsuit.
The vetoed resolution, approved by the commission in an 8-5 vote Nov. 13, directed the mayor to drop a Chancery Court lawsuit against the commissioners seeking control of the opioid lawsuit. The resolution also instructed the mayor to receive commission approval before filing lawsuits on the county’s behalf.
Chancellor Jim Kyle ruled Nov. 14 that litigation falls under the purview of the executive branch, not the legislative branch, and gave the administration until the end of the year to take over the opioid lawsuit.
Tuesday’s veto was Luttrell’s second since Kyle’s ruling. On Friday, he also vetoed a resolution endorsing commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer’s decision to hire New York-based law firm Napoli Shkolnik to file the opioid lawsuit. The administration was in the process of vetting law firms to possibly file its own lawsuit.
In his letter to Shafer, Luttrell “reminded” her that his office “does not take directives from the commission.” He also extended an invitation to Shafer to work through the question about who will pay for the commission’s Chancery Court defense, but added that no resolution could be reached while “issues” — perhaps referencing the possibility of an appeal of Kyle’s ruling — are still “pending.”