Note: This story was updated at 10:25 a.m. August 5.
DA responds to political targeting charge
There was no political targeting of Trooper Anthony Lay before his five-day suspension by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in May, but there were “real, serious, and repeated performance failures,” Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark said Friday.
Clark documented what he called Lay’s performance issues in a statement released Friday. A DUI charge in one case was dismissed, Clark said, after Lay failed to submit a complete case file and then did not respond to requests for documents by fax, mail, and email. He cited two cases where Lay failed to appear in response to a subpoena. In one of those cases, Lay faced potential arrest for contempt of court and showed up 20 minutes late, but the judge dismissed the case because Lay wasn’t present, the DA said.
Clark said he saved Lay from going to jail in that case because he declined to have the trooper arrested and instead called his sergeant to see if he could get Lay to court to avoid further trouble.
Clark cited another case where he said Lay failed to arrest a driver who was impaired and had four or more prior DUI convictions, possessed drugs and drug paraphernalia, and was a habitual motor vehicle offender. Lay issued the driver a ticket, but he should have taken the driver into custody after the man finished his medical treatment, Clark said.
In issuing his statement Friday, Clark said he was responding to Lay’s charges in recent stories about the trooper’s suspension by the THP in May. In those stories, published in several media outlets, Lay said he was the target of political attacks. [Read more…]