Metro Nashville Lead Attorney Admits Trying to Slow Down Court Proceedings to Let School, Parents Intervene in Covenant Killer Records Lawsuit

This week, Metro Nashville’s lawyers deliberately attempted to slow down court proceedings on the lawsuit seeking the release of the Covenant Killer’s manifesto and related documents.

Such delay tactics raise an important question: Is the city government colluding with the Covenant Presbyterian School and families of the private Christian elementary school to keep the records from the public?

Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Director of Law Wally Dietz told reporters on Monday that his team worked to give a “bit of a pause” to the legal proceedings so that the Covenant Presbyterian School and families would have time to have their rights represented in the lawsuit. Dietz said the legal department didn’t think the city had legal standing to assert “certain rights” for the school and the families.

“So the only thing we tried to do was to take a little bit of a pause so that they could come in and hire lawyers if they wanted, and they did, and then have the lawyers represent their case to the court,” he said. “We believe that was appropriate and we will defend that decision.”

“It was our decision to slow this down to give them enough time to talk to a lawyer and file some papers with the court to protect their rights, if they believed they had rights that needed protection, and we’ll defend that decision to the end of the day,” Dietz added.

But was it the city’s right to slow down the process, to intervene for the intervenors? Did the city put taxpayers in a difficult position?

Davidson County Chancellor I’Ashea Myles on Wednesday issued an order late Wednesday allowing the school and its host Presbyterian Church to intervene in the consolidated lawsuit filed by several plaintiffs — including The Tennessee Star, The Tennessean, the Tennessee Firearms Association and the National Police Association.

Myles had yet to rule on a motion by a group of Covenant School parents seeking to intervene in the case, but that ruling still was expected Wednesday evening.

On Monday, Myles heard arguments – many of which were laden with emotion – on just who should be able to intervene in the lawsuit demanding the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) make public the manifesto and related documents of Audrey Elizabeth Hale. It’s been more than two months since the 28-year-old woman who identified as a transgender man stormed into the Nashville school and shot dead three 9-year-olds and three staff members.

The interveners argue making the records public could further endanger the school, potentially creating “copycat” crimes. They have an interesting ally in the form of the Metro Nashville government, which argues the Covenant School killings remain under investigation and therefore the police department is not bound under Tennessee Public Records laws to release Hale’s writings. The plaintiffs argue the rule and court case Metro Nashville cites do not apply because Hale is dead — shot by police within minutes of her deadly attack — and law enforcement officials have previously contradicted recent statements that there is an ongoing criminal procedure.

Dietz insisted that the investigation is ongoing and, in a twist, that the liberal Nashville government has sided with a private Christian school in keeping public records locked away from the public. He chided The Tennessean for threatening to sue Metro Nashville, the church, the school and the parents for blocking its constitutional right to review Hale’s writings. The newspaper would seek attorneys fees and related expenses if it wins its lawsuit.

“On a personal level, I would hope that The Tennessean would think twice about asserting that allegation against the parents and the church and the school who are victims of what our mayor has called the worst day in Nashville’s history,” Dietz told reporters. He added that the city — aka, the taxpayers — “have plenty of money to pay a claim” if The Tennessean is right, but “let’s leave the other parties alone.”

Dietz also said he didn’t understand why state Representative Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), another plaintiff in the lawsuit, is suing for the manifesto. Gardenhire is one of several Republican lawmakers who have demanded the immediate release of the records. Governor Bill Lee has called a special session for August to take up gun bills in response to the Covenant School shootings. The Tennessee Firearms Association, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, has sought the Hale manifesto in advance of that session.

Dietz claimed state law “permits any legislator” to go to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation “and look at any investigative file they have.”

Not quite, Deborah Fisher of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government told NewsChannel5 earlier this week.

“The senate would have to pass a resolution to make those available, and at that point, even if they were available, there’s some question whether they could be publicly used or referred to,” Fisher said.

News outlets and free press advocates worry this case could set a dangerous precedent, emboldening government officials to block public records moving forward. And, Fisher argues, the facts will do.

“There have been so many rumors, conspiracy theories, hurtful things said. Misinformation probably, disinformation, it’s always better to have the facts come out about what was in the writings, rather than all these imaginations,” she told the TV station.

The delay in the release of the Hale manifesto has led to speculation, including theories that President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is playing politics with the investigation — and the records attached to it. As someone who identified as transgender, Hale doesn’t fit the left’s usual narrative of a school shooter, critics say. LGBTQ+ groups early on warned the release of manifesto could lead to serious consequences.

In a separate order issued Wednesday, Myles indicated she would keep the June 8 show cause hearing on schedule. The hearing requires Metro Nashville to justify its decision to block the release of the documents.

But John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, said Wednesday that no matter how Myles ruled on the motions to intervene, the decision is likely to be appealed. That could delay the court schedule.

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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Wally Dietz” by Fox 17.



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9 Thoughts to “Metro Nashville Lead Attorney Admits Trying to Slow Down Court Proceedings to Let School, Parents Intervene in Covenant Killer Records Lawsuit”

  1. JRoberts

    Metro is covering up something….. Can’t wait to find out what it is….

  2. Phyllis West

    Agree. This lawyer’ boss is the Mayor. We pay both their salaries.

  3. Phyllis West

    When the government fears the people, you have Liberty; when the people fear their government, you have Tyranny.
    I am just amazed everyday how many people are fearful of their elected officials. My question to them is WHY DID YOU ELECT THEM? THE MAYOR & his Bureaucrats DO NOT represent you. You elect them to enforce the laws on the books, passed by those you elect t represent you. Like Councilmen & women. They clearly are not doing that in this case, because due to ” mandatory term limits”, your Council Reps are Lame Ducks from thextime they are elected.

  4. Ron W

    Karen Bracken,


    This has been going on a long time—and building to dangerous deep state evil

    “We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.” — Harry S. Truman

    “I never would have agreed to the formation of the CIA back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.” — Harry S. Truman

  5. trefiner

    So embarrassing to live in Nashville now. Even Louisville revealed the shooter’s manifesto within days. What did I expect living in a blue city?


    It is clearly obvious there is something in that manifesto that is extremely incriminating. Was the FBI or CIA communicating with this mentally disturbed woman?? We know they do search on social media and befriend these disturbed people to pull of their assault on our 2nd Amendment. But they are surely keeping this document from the public for a reason and it is not the reason they are giving us. One thing we have learned is that the FBI and the CIA are capable of ANYTHING.

  7. “…..critics say. LGBTQ+ groups early on warned the release of manifesto could lead to serious consequences.”

    So, we are to believe the gay community should have special protections over any other group that might be “associated” with a shooting? How does that work? Time to release all evidence NOW!

  8. Tim Price

    What is in the manifesto that they don’t want the public to see? It sure looks like there are hiding something!

  9. levelheadedconservative

    It is called the Freedom Of Information Act for a reason. The fact that a municipal lawyer has stated publicly that he is stonewalling the process should be cause for his removal as representative counsel. Yes he represents the city, however, the city government exists at the discretion of the people. When this information was requested, it should have been provided. There should be no need for lawsuits, lawyers, extended court dates, nor the ability for a taxpayer paid lawyer to allow his bias to undercut the will of the citizens of the city/county.
    The requested documents should be released immediately, and this waste of taxpayer money should stop now.