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Channel 3 learned on Friday that a request has been made for the TBI to investigate a candidate for Hamilton County District Attorney.
According to the request, Coty Wamp, who is currently the legal counsel for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, is accused of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
The request, filed by Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston, says on January 2, 2022, Hugo Garcia Padilla was identified as a suspect in a shooting that occurred in Soddy-Daisy and was taken into custody by the Chattanooga Police Department’s SWAT team.
The request says Wamp notified the Soddy-Daisy Police Department that the wrong suspect was in custody “based on upon her inquiry, talking to witnesses, victims, and Padilla’s employer” who is listed as Jeff Cannon.
The request says after the alleged intervention by Wamp, victims recounted their original stories, denying that Padilla is the suspect and accused Hugo Garcia Robles of being the actual suspect.
The request says members of the Soddy-Daisy Police Department stated that the victims began acting strangely following their interaction with Wamp “and/or others on her behalf that are unknown at this time.”
The request says Wamp and Cannon attempted to interfere with the natural progression of a criminal case by asking others to set a special hearing for Padilla within 24 hours with the intention of preventing his deportation by ICE agents.
Channel 3 reached out to District Attorney Neal Pinkston’s office and was told the request to the TBI for the investigation, which can only be made by a district attorney, was submitted after a discussion with Sheriff Jim Hammond and Chief Deputy Austin Garrett.
In news today…
Joker’s Law Petition Project members met with Representatives Mark Hall at the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Saturday morning to present the signed Joker’s Law petitions for Representative Hall to take to Nashville. The Choates, Bradley County Sheriff Steve Lawson, and other staff members were present.
K9 Joker, as well as Deputy Eduardo Choate, will have their first interview this morning at 8:30 on Mix 104-1 as well as Mix TV, online at mixtv.tv. Bradley County Sheriff Steve Lawson will also join the duo. K9 Deputy Joker made national news when he was shot while chasing down burglary suspects in September of last year.
Teacher and staff shortages caused by another COVID-19 surge have some Tennessee administrators seeking state permission to move schools or classes temporarily to remote learning.
But any switch will only be for five calendar days instead of the seven-day window approved for dozens of districts and charter schools during the fall semester.
This week, the Tennessee Department of Education shortened the length of time schools can temporarily go remote. The rollback, officials said, was based on new federal and state guidance halving the recommended isolation time to five days for people testing positive for the coronavirus.
The decision reinforces the focus of Gov. Bill Lee’s administration on keeping Tennessee students in brick-and-mortar schools, even with cases climbing again from COVID-19’s highly contagious omicron variant.
The state is also in litigation over a new state law that aims to prevent school districts from mandating masks, except when infections reach severe levels.
Tennessee’s rate of positive COVID-19 cases has accelerated since the first omicron case was confirmed in December. One in every three coronavirus tests reported to the Tennessee Department of Health over the past week has been positive, according to an analysis by The Tennessean.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis formally announced Friday he will seek another term and enter the May 3 Republican primary.
His campaign will continue to be “about adhering to the basics of good fiscal policy, highlighting my record of achievement and planning for the future growth of the community and this region we call home,” he said in a statement.
Davis said he understands the concerns of Bradley County residents — from farmers, to office workers, laborers, to business owners and beyond.
He was born in Bradley County and graduated from Bradley Central High School. He earned an associate degree from Cleveland State Community College and earned the designation of Certified Public Administrator from the University of Tennessee in 1999 and has been re-certified each year thereafter, completing more than 500 credit hours.
Davis said he is one of 17 county mayors in the state to have attained this status, and that it gives him the “experience, ability and continuity to build upon the region’s past successes and not only meet, but help us exceed the challenges of the future.”
A reception will be held Tuesday for retiring editors of the Cleveland Daily Banner: Gwen Swiger and Rick Norton. They served the Banner for 34 and 22 years, respectively. Congratulations, Gwen and Rick, on years of service to the people of Cleveland, Bradley County, and the region.