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Message From The Shelby County Attorney


I have always tried to work with the City of Center including its Police Department. We have many good officers in the department and none of my comments are in any way directed at the Center Police Department. Further, none of my comments are directed in any way towards the Mayor or the City Council members.
I did not attend the City Council meeting where an ordinance regarding discharge of firearm, within 5000 feet of the City limits were discussed. I was stunned, however when I read Shelby County Today’s article about this matter.
While City Manager Nehring made some disparaging comments about the County Court and me ignoring the alleged shooting incident that apparently led to the proposed amendment, I would like to make the record clear that the City never filed a report with my office about this matter or even brought it to my attention. The statement that the “County Court” and I refused to do anything about this matter is misleading and insulting in my opinion.
Nehring also implies that such charges are routinely ignored by me so the City had to act. In fact the City has NEVER filed any such complaint with me. If I interpret the Police Chief’s statement correctly this is the only case such as this that has been looked into by the City in the eight years he has been Chief of Police.
While I agree that the City and County should try to cooperate, I would ask the City Manager how there could be any discussion about this matter or any other matter that he refers to when nothing has ever been said about any potential problems. It makes it difficult to cooperate when one side drops a bomb on the other without any provocation.
If Nehring solution to any problem involving a weapon being discharged at or in the direction of any one including a Police Officer be filing it as a Class C misdemeanor, I would point out such action is a Felony offense. A Class C misdemeanor is the same level offense of a traffic ticket. While I have no idea what actually occurred in any such incident, I would suggest that fining someone a minimal amount is totally inadequate punishment for someone shooting at or in the direction of a Peace Officer or anyone else. And I would suggest Nehring be mindful of the fact that a City ordinance cannot override a State law much less the U.S. Constitution.
I wholeheartedly invite the City manager to address the County Commissioner Court and reveal any facts that substantiates his seemingly disparaging remarks regarding me, my office or the “County Court.” The City manager should be aware I do not file criminal charges at his whim or the whim of anyone else.
Gary W. Rholes
Shelby County Attorney


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