Briley calls for audit after report of Metro’s probation department tipping off ICE

Posted at 10:15 AM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 16:00:39-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mayor David Briley has called for an investigation into the Metro-Nashville and Davidson County General Sessions Probation Department amid accusations that probation officers are sharing personal information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In a letter sent to Interim Metropolitan Auditor Gina Pruitt, Briley said several probation officers have been proactively sharing appointment dates and times, as well as home and work addresses of probationers to ICE agents.

In one case, the cell phone number of a probationer's girlfriend was given to ICE agents, Briley said.

"This behavior is absolutely unacceptable and does not reflect the character of our city," Briley said. "It also significantly undermines the public's trust in local government. Further, these interactions threaten to discourage justice-involved individuals from complying with the terms of their supervised released. [sic]"

Briley requested an investigation and performance audit into the Metro-Nashville and Davidson County General Sessions Probation Department.

In the letter, Briley said probation officers have been tipping off ICE agents for years, as proven by email records.

On Thursday, Metro Council members sent a letter to Warner Hassell, General Sessions Court Administrator, requesting the court ensure probation officers immediately stop working with ICE to deport probationers. The council members also asked General Sessions Judges to join the investigation into the report.

The results of the investigation should be presented to Metro Council at a public meeting no later than October 31, per the council's request.