Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Council Deadlocks on Asking Ford and Peete to Quit

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The Memphis City Council voted 6-6 Tuesday on a resolution urging Rickey Peete and Edmund Ford to resign.

The resolution, which was non-binding, failed on the tie vote, in which Ford participated. Peete was absent.

Ford and Peete were arrested last week on bribery charges involving a billboard and zoning case. A federal criminal complaint says Peete got $12,000 and Ford $6,900 from a lobbyist who has been identified as Joe Cooper.

Voting against the resolution were E. C. Jones, Joe Brown, TaJuan Stout Mitchell, Barbara Holt, Dederick Brittenum, and Ford. Voting yes were Jack Sammons, Tom Marshall, Scott McCormick, Carol Chumney, Myron Lowery, and Brent Taylor.

Sammons, who introduced the resolution, said the council's image is so bad that he has been unable to unload a box full of calendars with members' pictures. He said a constituent sent back one calendar with a note saying "I have no intention of putting a calendar with Memphis City Council on my wall."

Holt, who broke down in tears after speaking, said the presumption of innocence is "mere words" and that members should not act hastily until Ford and Peete are tried in court.

"I am disappointed that we sit here today and have them on trial," she said.

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