Mayor Weighs In On Councilman's Situation

Posted at 1:47 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 19:21:22-05

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said a controversial Metro councilman should consider whether or not he can serve his constituents after making the headlines again.

An investigation has been opened by the Davidson County District Attorney into allegations of questionable conduct by District 1 Councilman Loniel Greene Jr.

“I think that elected officials should be held to a higher standard,” the Mayor said Friday. “Any elected officials who is caught in a situation that distracts from the good work that they’re supposed to be doing for their constituents, I think they need to say, ‘What is in my path,’ and ‘Where do I need to go.’”

Greene has not been accused of a crime, but has been under fire for posting bail for a man accused of aggravated kidnapping and assault in a domestic violence case.

The alleged assault happened December 25. Greene’s cousin, Buchanan, was arrested under suspicion of beating his girlfriend.  

The woman told police Buchanan threatened to “hire someone to kill her or bond out and kill her if she went to the police.”

Greene did pay the bond, but the District Attorney’s office filed a motion Thursday to revoke the bond based on jailhouse calls between the cousins.

During one of the calls, Greene told Buchanan, “Don’t say too much on the phone. I got you, but listen – let this be a lesson. If she willing (sic) to do this to you, to put the while folks to you, you don’t deserve this. I’m going to deal with her.”

In another call Greene said, “But see, she gonna have to be (sic) shut down. Yeah, I’m gonna deal with her, because this is the problem – she wants to be, she think smart. So let me do what I’m gonna do.”

Greene went on to tell him in another call, “Cuz this game you try to play, you try to play the system – mother f***** I am the system.”

It’s not the only incident that has put the first-time councilman in the spotlight.

In November 2015, Greene was shot multiple times in West Nashville by two teenagers. The circumstances surrounding why Greene was in the area have not been answered.

Investigators with the Metro Nashville Police Department said Greene was seen on surveillance video pulling up to the Marathon gas station on Oceala Avenue near Burgress Avenues around 10 p.m., just as two young men were leaving.

Minutes after walking up to the teens on teens, witnesses reported hearing gunshots. Greene was struck in the elbow, shoulder and chest. He walked back to his car and collapsed.

The councilman was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in stable condition.  

Greene told police he approached them because he thought he recognized one of the two young men as a relative.

Not long before the shooting, Greene was with other elected officials at the National League of Cities conference in Nashville. Witnesses there told police the councilman said he was leaving for about an hour.

“That’s not unusual for him because he’s always moving,” said District 2 Councilman DeCosta Hastings. “He has a lot of things, Loniel is the jokester. He likes to go out. He may have a meeting here, a meeting there.”

Several people expressed concern about Greene’s health, but there was some curiosity surrounding the circumstances leading to the shooting.

When asked days later why Greene approached the suspects, he stated we would get to that information, but he didn’t have time to talk because of another appointment.

Mayor Barry would not speak specifically about Greene’s situation Friday, but did say elected officials should be held to a high standard.

“As an elected official, you should hold yourself to a higher standard. And if you are in a situation where what you're up to and what you're being accused of distracts at all from the good work that you should be doing for your constituents, then I would say that you have to be really reflective and figure out what your next path is.”