» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 39 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 4, 2015

Tennessee AG cites comma usage in investigative records case

Print | Front Page | Email this story

NASHVILLE (AP) - In the end, the Tennessee Attorney General says the argument all comes down to the lack of a comma.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued an Aug. 25 opinion that says a city council cannot request the results of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report because of a law that says such records should be released "only in compliance with a subpoena or an order of a court of record," The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1N7oFeI).

Slatery said the lack of a comma after the word "subpoena," means that either a subpoena or an order must come from a court. If there were a comma present, the opinion said, then "of a court of record" would only apply to "order."

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, said he asked the attorney general to weigh in because of ongoing discussions about how to balance transparency and investigative needs, especially in high-profile cases involving police officers that have occurred in Memph is and other cities around the nation.

"Especially in cases of officer shootings, people have the right to know what happened," Parkinson said. "I do also understand the need to make sure the investigations are not tainted, and that the information is not put out there too early."

Josh DeVine, spokesman for TBI, said according to the staff in the bureau's legal department, the agency has never received a subpoena from a city council. Nashville Metro Council Jon Cooper said that action has been threatened by council members but never used.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0