Tuesday, August 30, 2005

UPDATES: HOOKS INDICTED; BROOKS REJECTED

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2005 at 4:00 AM

UPDATES: HOOKS AND BROOKS

Hooks Indicted: Shelby County Commission chairman Michael Hooks Sr., long under a cloud after his name surfaced in connection with the first “Tennesse Waltz” revelations, was formally charged Tuesday by the Shelby County grand jury with taking $24,000 in bribes from the FBI’s sham “eCycle” electronics firm.

Hooks, who had acknowledged having some involvement with the firm when the news of the FBI sting broke in May, turned himself in at the federal building Tuesday after releasing this statement to his fellow commissioners: “You will undoubtedly hear in the media today news of my indictment. I want to apologize to you for any cloud this issue may put over the County Commission and staff. I ask for your prayers.''

The indictment charges Hooks with receiving money from eCycle in several installments, beginning in September of last year and continuing through March of this year, months during which he was preparing and launching what proved to be an unsuccessful bid for a state Senate seat – ironically, one that had been vacated by fellow indictee Roscoe Dixon and that was ultimately won by another indictee, Kathryn Bowers.

Hooks will make a formal plea regarding the charge on September 7 – the anniversary of the first sums received by him from an undercover agent last year.

Brooks Election Appeal rejected: In the course of an hoc meeting of the state Democratic Party executive committee, one conducted partly by conference call from Nashville, the protest by state Representative Henri Brooks of her 20-vote defeat by Ophelia Ford in a special state Senate race was rejected.

A member of the committee said afterward that no formal motion was ever made, and thus no formal vote was taken, on Brooks’ charges that several potential voters had not been apprised of their eligibility and opportunity to vote in the election, held on August 4th, following a change in address. “She just didn’t make the case, and there was evidence refuting her,” said the committee member.

No information was immediately available on Brooks’ further intentions and her possible recourse in the judicial system.

Tuesday’s decision means that Ford, who was thereby formally certified by the committee as the Democratic nominee, will go on to face Republican Terry Roland and independent Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges in the special District 29 general election on September 15. The seat being contested is the one vacated in late May by ‘Tennessee Waltz’ indictee John Ford.

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