An invitation to a celebration about the jail’s construction has become the latest rift between Sheriff Daron Hall and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.
Left off the guest list: Hall himself.
“It's disappointing. I had my own staff who heard about it ‘Say, hey, we're not even invited. What's the problem?’” Hall told the News 4 I-Team.
Hall is talking about an invitation, obtained by the News 4 I-Team, to celebrate a construction milestone in the jail’s construction, with Barry slated to speak.
The sheriff said he and the Mayor’s office have had philosophical differences over the location of the new jail and its name, and the lack of invitation to the event is just the latest issue.
Hall has long argued that the jail should not keep its old name: the Criminal Justice Center.
Hall said the people who will be held at the new facility are only charged with crimes, not convicted.
But look at the invitation, and the name of the facility reads CJC.
“Even in the invite, it's called the criminal justice center. Is that salt in the wound for you?” asked the News 4 I-team.
“Yes. That bothers me,” Hall said.
The News 4 I-Team asked Barry if the lack of invite to the event, which was canceled by rain, was an intentional slight by the city.
“We didn't have that today, I know it got postponed. I don't know what the guest list looked like but I fully expect that the sheriff would be included in that,” Barry said.
Velvet Hunter, the spokeswoman for Metro General Services, said even though her city office is in charge of the building of the facility, the construction company performing the job planned the event, in which Barry was slated to thank the workers.
In an email, Hunter said they are calling the facility the “CJC project,” she is not aware of a naming decision at this point.
Barry said she has not come to a final decision about what she thinks it should be named and will leave the final decision up to General Services and Hall.
“Is this an example of bad blood between you and the mayor's office?” asked the News 4 I-Team.
“I don't want to believe that. There's a lot going on in the Mayor's office,” Hall said.
The I-Team contacted Bell & Associated Construction to inquire about the guest list, and a woman who answered the phone at the work site said there was no one available to answer questions.
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