Otis Sanford: Elected county officials once again in public spat

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  For months, the relationship between Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and several county commissioners has been strained. In fact, the best way to describe it is a public feud.

The mayor and commission were at odds earlier this year over the budget including whether to switch insurance carriers for county workers.

Then there was the dispute over Luttrell and two other elected county officials asking the Justice Department to end oversight of Juvenile Court without input from the commission.

Now we have another one after Heidi Shafer hired an outside law firm to sue various pharmaceutical companies in Circuit Court stemming from the opiod crisis. Luttrell, to put it mildly, is furious over the legal action. He claims Shafer is overstepping their authority. But she, along with Terry Roland and others, say they have been waiting two years for the mayor to take legal action on the opiod problem and he has done nothing.

Indeed, the full commission has not yet approved the lawsuit, but Shafer and Roland are certain they have the votes to go forward. Luttrell, who has now sued Shafer, insists the commission is playing politics over the issue. So once again, our elected county leaders are waging a very public spat, and frustrated taxpayers are no doubt wishing they can just put them all in time out.

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