EDITOR’S NOTE: Coty Wamp is running in the Republican Primary for Hamilton County District Attorney against incumbent Neal Pinkston. Wamp, who is currently serving as legal counsel for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, recently intervened in the arrest of a man in Soddy Daisy who was accused of firing a gunshot into the ground. Wamp maintained the case was one of mistaken identity. Pinkston then requested the TBI investigate the incident involving his political opponent.
“It was as an Assistant Public Defender that I truly learned the value of constitutional rights. The beauty of these rights is that they do not apply to some of us based on race, gender, or economic status; they apply equally to all of us. As an Assistant District Attorney, I learned that to be a great prosecutor, one must pursue justice regardless of whether that means a case is lost or a person is let out of jail. A month ago, the possibility of an accidental injustice was brought to my attention, and I did what I could to bring it to the attention of others. I have stood by those actions and last night, in Soddy Daisy municipal court, justice also stood by those actions.
“The handling of this situation by our District Attorney was nothing short of disgraceful. Elected District Attorneys across the state have the privilege of being able to request TBI investigations. To use this privilege as a political weapon, asking for an investigation into your own political opponent, is not only an abuse of power, it is a disservice to the office you hold and to those that elected you.
“Unfortunately, this behavior was never a surprise to me. His behavior over the last eight years has consistently been impulsive and thoughtless. And unfortunately, the attacks and the games and the distractions will continue. While I have been meeting with hundreds of concerned citizens across this county on important criminal justice issues, my opponent asked for a baseless TBI investigation and has paid a private investigator from his campaign bank account.
“At the end of the day, being the District Attorney isn’t just about enforcing the law—it’s about one less grandmother who has to get a phone call that her grandson has been shot. It’s about standing up for the children who are neglected at the hands of parents who are too busy using drugs to care for them. It’s about justice for the parents who have lost a teenage son to a pill that was sold to him by someone who didn’t care whether he lived or died. It’s about caring. It’s about helping. As District Attorney, no matter if it’s Hugo Garcia Padilla in Soddy Daisy, the 2-year-old on Plumwood Road who was shot in May, or the seven victims on Grove Street last September, I will always do my best to help.
“I hope the best for our District Attorney and his wife who is still being paid to work as his Chief of Staff. But with three months left in this campaign, I am as confident as ever that it’s time for new leadership.
“Lastly, while the news media is gathered here together, I’d like to ask for a formal and live debate between me and my opponent. Our community deserves to be able to ask questions. And they should expect leadership that is willing to answer those questions.”