Premature Withdrawal

We're disappointed that the City Council chose to drop its probe into Mayor Herenton's involvement in last year's MLGW prepayment to TVA before it got its business done. Granted, the mayor has indicated that the FBI is now (literally) on his case, but the federal bureau itself has said nothing to confirm that fact. So the council's hand -- as member Brent Taylor, a dissenter in the decision, pointed out -- was not forced.

And even if the FBI is on the case, there's no guarantee that it is looking into the same areas the council might have been pursuing. Moreover, congressional investigating committees have not impeded federal prosecutors. On the contrary, their prior spadework has often been of use to them. Witness the Watergate affair.

We have absolutely no reason to suspect improper dealings on the mayor's part. Yes, he's determined to have his way about things, but historically he's been fairly straight-up about that. The fact is, however, that public confidence is not served by slapping a lid back on a pot that has begun to boil -- or by turning the heat off altogether.

We wish the council had opted to continue its investigation.


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