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Council Member To DA: 'You Don't Get A Pass'

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Posted at 7:50 PM, Mar 02, 2015
and last updated 2020-08-28 20:57:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Two outspoken Metro Council members delivered a scathing letter of rebuke Monday to Nashville DA Glenn Funk, questioning whether the new prosecutor is fit to serve.

That follows an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation.

"I want to send a message here that you don't get a pass on this," said Council member Phil Claiborne in an interview with NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

His message to Funk: "You did something wrong, and there are people that are willing to at least hold you accountable."

Claiborne drafted the letter, which was also signed by Council member Duane Dominy, after seeing our NewsChannel 5 investigation. (Read the letter here.)

That investigation revealed how Glenn Funk -- before he took office as Nashville's DA in September -- got a state official to create a job for him to help boost his pension.

We also discovered that Funk may have improperly arranged for taxpayers to pick up the tab for health insurance for him and his family -- two months before he took office.

"He's only been in office here for just a few months and he's already doing something that's calling his ability to lead this office into question," Claiborne told NewsChannel 5.

In the letter, Claiborne and Dominy wrote: "We believe you have broken the trust of the voters who elected you and have damaged the integrity of the office of District Attorney."

They added, "It concerns us that your decisions appear to have put personal profit ahead of doing what is best for the taxpayers."



Claiborne said he decided to voice his concerns after hearing complaints from constituents.

"Actions similar to what the district attorney has done is indicative of why people don't trust their politicians - you get elected and you start doing things that benefit you more than the people that you are elected to serve," he explained.

Last week, that controversy led to the resignation of Wally Kirby, the executive director of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference who created the job for Funk.

Still, Funk has refused to admit he did anything wrong.

As for his ability to continue, the letter concludes:

"From our standpoint, the wisdom and judgment necessary to manage the activities of a department with an annual operating budget in excess of $7.6 million demands a level of trust and responsibility beyond your demonstrated ability to perform."



Claiborne, however, stopped short of calling for Funk to resign.

"If he stays in office, then he has to do something to restore trust," the Council member explained. "If he leaves office, then trust is not an issue."

Funk told NewsChannel 5 Investigates in an email that he has invited the Council members to meet to discuss their concerns. (Read Funk's response here.)

As for enrolling in health insurance, the veteran lawyer said he was told that's what he had to do. If that was wrong, he said he'll reimburse the state for $87 in claims filed by his family.

In the end, however, the only person who can take any sort of action against a sitting DA is the state attorney general.

So far, all that Attorney General Herbert Slatery has said is that his office is "reviewing" the situation.

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NC5 Investigates: The DA's Deals

Review documents related to DA investigation