Skip to comments.Grand jury returns new (TN) "Waltz" indictment (CO commishioner Michael Hooks SR (D)
Posted on 08/30/2005 1:43:13 PM PDT by GailA
Shelby County Commissioner Michael Hooks is being booked on a two-count federal indictment that charges he took some $24,000 in bribes in exchange for securing a county contract for an FBI front company.
Federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza asked the judge to issue a warrant for Hooks's arrest, but asked that he be released on his own recognizance.
Prosecutors say Hooks could make a court appearance by this afternoon.
The indictment says:
On Sept. 2, 2004, Hooks met with an E-Cycle representative and said he needed money. When told that E-Cycle didn't like to be listed on politicians' financial disclosure forms, Hooks said "there are reasonable ways of getting around that."
On Sept. 7, he received $6,000. He was told the next week that he'd get $10,000, but in late September, received another $6,000.
The next month, he explained to the E-Cycle rep that a county contract for computer disposal could be tailored to fit E-Cycle so that "you (E-Cycle) are the only ones that can fulfill it." At that meeting, he got another $5,000.
On Dec. 15, 2004, an undercover agent gave him $3,700 in the bathroom at Earnestine & Hazels, a Downtown bar.
Later that month, he asked for more money for his assistance in getting a county contract for E-Cycle, the indictment says.
In his first court appearance, before Judge Tu Pham, Hooks was represented by attorney Steve Farese.
Hooks rarely spoke, except to tell Pham his address and phone number, loudly and succinctly.
He's going through the booking process with U.S. marshals and was to be released after on his own recognizance. His hands were cuffed in front of him, and he wore a cream-colored golf shirt, brown blazer and khakis.
His next court appearance will be before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Vescovo, Sept. 7 at 9:30 a.m.
On March 10, 2005, Hooks said he was hoping to get $5,000, but he would take any amount offered. They gave him $3,500.
Farese said after the court hearing that he knew Hooks was under investigation, but was surprised by the indictment. He suggested the government has the same sort of wiretap and hidden camera evidence against Hooks as it has against other defendants.
"It's my understanding that the government has similar evidence as in the other Tennessee Waltz cases," he said. He described Hooks as upset and embarrassed by the charges, and said he wouldn't be making any public statements.
Hooks broke the news of his indictment to his commission colleagues and staff members Tuesday in a brief memo. "I want to apologize to you for any cloud this issue may put over the County Commission and staff," he wrote. "I ask for your prayers."
The Commercial Appeal will update this story as details become available.
We knew another indictment was coming I just didn't think it would get a county person.
Would have surprised me if Hooks had not been involved.
Me too. Now if we can just nab Willie...
I wonder how well King Willie is sleeping, nowadays? Next question: How in the wide, wide world of sports can this jokester afford Farese? He must have clear title to some valuable real estate if Farese is on the case.
Look for him to be acquitted and handed a medal as soon as this lawyer gets done with that all-black jury.
Commissioner Michael Hooks - Chairman
Michael Hooks, currently serving as Chairman of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners, was elected to the Board in August, 1994 and reelected in 1998 and 2002. He is president of Michael A. Hooks and Associates, a real estate appraising/property tax consultant firm.
He was elected to the State Constitutional Convention in 1977 and selected as one of 50 Outstanding Leaders of the Future by Ebony Magazine in 1978. Mr. Hooks was elected to the Memphis City Council in 1979 and served as chairman for two consecutive years.
Mr. Hooks was elected as the Shelby County Property Assessor in August of 1988. During his four year term, he was voted by his peers in the International Association of Assessing Officers as Assessor of the Year.
He served on the State Board of Equalization. That appointment by Governor Ned McWherter makes him the only Shelby Countian to have served in that capacity.
He is married to City Councilwoman Janet Hooks.
bowers seems to have taken a trip on tax payer dollars, she is the queen of trip takers on the taxSERFS dollar according to Fleming. Story is in the "Breadesean"