NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Norfolk Circuit Court judge has to decide whether he should impanel a special grand jury to investigate Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi after some residents expressed concern about how his office has handled some recent high-profile cases.
Five citizens have brought the legal action, which is supported by Virginia State Code 48-1.
“When complaint is made to the circuit court … by five or more citizens of any county or city or town, setting forth the existence of a public or common nuisance, the court, or the judge thereof in vacation, shall summon a special grand jury,” according to state code.
Those gathered on the Norfolk courthouse steps are opposed to Fatehi. They are represented by Amina Metheny-Willard.
“He has not been issuing subpoenas to witnesses who need to come in,” Metheny-Willard said, “not doing the proper investigation, not being prepared for court, offering pleas that are completely asinine to people who are involved in murder.”
The people who made up the five who brought the court action to impanel a special grand jury included victim’s families like Cartina Wilson whose son Jarrell was killed in March 2020,
“The truth is the truth,” Cartina Wilson said. “It’s too many families (that) have been affected by his office not pursing the people who killed their loved one.”
The question is: does a public official’s performance in office come under the law of public nuisance?
“Nuisance under the law isn’t something that annoys you,” Fatehi said. “It has a specific legal definition, and, all of those allegations, I’d vigorously fight them. The fact is that people don’t see what happens on the inside. They don’t see the decisions that we make.”
Fatehi has been the target of many who are not pleased with his performance, like the charges dropped against Granby Street shooting suspect Antoine Legrande and he was released from jail,
“The point is, if they want me out of office, they have a method,” Fatehi said. “I trust the voters of the city of Norfolk. They voted for my policies. They voted for responsible prosecution.”
Judge Everette Martin said he will take one or two weeks to come back with a verdict.