(Memphis) It's a war of words between Commissioner Henri Brooks and the Juvenile Court after a letter is sent to the commissioner explaining that a program she wanted for the juvenile court will not happen.
Commissioner Brooks is calling the recent decision by juvenile Judge Curtis Person retaliatory.
“That’s crossing the line, you can’t intimidate legislator about a vote,” Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks said.
She says his decision not to allow her community monitoring program stems from her decision to vote 'no' to funds for juvenile court health care.
“Are you saying to me that since I didn't vote the way you want me to vote that now can’t have the community monitoring program?” she asked.
A scathing letter from juvenile court to Brooks said her vote could prompt a federal lawsuit.
It then said she would be “disruptive and counter-productive” if she was in court.
“Judge Person considers the detrimental impact of your disrespectful public comments directed toward the court as an institution of justice unfortunate, unfounded, and unworthy of any elected official,” the letter said.
Brooks said the letter came as a surprise.
On June 4th it appeared her community monitoring program was good to go after she got an email from Assistant County Attorney Craig Willis.
It read that, ”Once the names of the volunteer community monitors have been processed and the order entered by juvenile court, they should be able to attend detention hearings, transfer hearings, and delinquency hearings in accordance with the procedures set forth in that Order.”
“This letter is a reversal,” she said.
Conflict between Brooks and the court is nothing new.
A complaint she filed against them with the Department of Justice led to sweeping changes of juvenile court.
She said that’s why she wanted her monitoring program.
“Do they (juveniles) have their constitutional rights? That’s what we need to understand and confirm,” she said.
The court also said there is a major conflict of interest as Brooks is planning to run for juvenile court clerk.