"It's weighty. It's heavy handedness. It's retaliation and it's stepping over the bounds," proclaimed Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks.
If it were a marriage it would have already been in divorce court.
Unfortunately, for Shelby County Juvenile Court Chief Administrative Officer, Larry Scroggs, and outspoken Commissioner Henri Brooks, the federally mandated agreement to address previously cited issues of race, justice and treatment of youthful African American detainees, has inextricably tied the troubled county agency to its chief critic for the last six years.
Commissioner wants citizen monitors for juvenile court
During a meeting the Commission's Hospital Committee on Wednesday, Brooks as Chairman, took the occasion to once again lambaste Scroggs and the court by introducing the contents of a letter she received.
As City Councilman Joe Brown is fond of saying, "to make a long story short", the letter denies the fiery Commissioner and, any people selected by her, from attending and monitoring detention, delinquency or any other judicial proceedings at Juvenile Court. Scroggs later told reporters the court had at first considered adhering to Brooks' request, then upon further review decided to change their mind. Probably, somewhere about the time Brooks made it known she planned on running for a position of her own with the court.
"The court felt that her presence since she was now on the campaign trail running for the office of Juvenile Court Clerk would make it very difficult for the court to conduct business with the presence of either Ms. Brooks or the persons she had personally selected," said Scroggs.
While Scroggs made it clear Brooks has become a chief tormentor of the court, he did reflect the rest of the Commission could have been more supportive from the start as the court tries to comply with the demands of the Department of Justice. A water under the bridge observation, which Brooks asserts shows why her involvement has been vital in uncovering the previous inequities.
"We're not dealing with adult felons. We're talking about normal children. And if you have someone who wants to stand up for them....commend that person," said Brooks.