Woman who filed complaint concerned about bias in ethics investigation of Mayor Barry

(FOX 17 News)

The woman who filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Megan Barry now has some tough words for the Metro legal department.

She is calling foul after a law firm said the Ethics Board doesn’t have jurisdiction over part of her ethics complaint against Barry and advised the board to toss part of it out.

They say it’s because metro code limits the board. She says it’s because of a conflict of interest.

“I’m through with trusting the process,” said Murphy. "The process is not working for the people."

In an e-mail exchange between Murphy and Jon Cooper from Metro Legal, Metro officials, which normally reviews the complaints, thought it best to hire an outside firm to review the complaint and advise the ethics board. That’s where Murphy says the problem comes in.

“We’re all talking about the appearance of bias and when you have the current head of Metro Legal to past heads of Metro Legal, it’s hard to believe that they don’t have any type of relationship. Are they the only ones in town who have that deep of knowledge of the Metro Code and the Metro Ethics guidelines – I find that hard to believe.

Fox 17 News reached out to Cooper for a response but have not yet heard back.

“I plan on full steam ahead because everything that’s happening now is spinning out of control,” said Councilman Steve Glover.

The legal opinion may not even matter if Councilman Steve Glover’s bill passes three readings in the Metro Council. His bill gives the Ethics Board legislative power to investigate and not rely on direction or oversight from outside law firms.

“Lawyers give opinions and we’ve all got opinions," Glover said. "Right now, what I want to do is clean the language up in this bill that says legislatively, the body has the right to do these things. Nashville is sick of what is happening right now and so therefore, the sicker I become, the madder and harder I’m going to push."

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