Council member denies bribing clerks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Council member denies bribing clerks

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Council member Barbara Swearengen-Ware said Monday she was surprised her name was mentioned in recent bribery indictments involving employees at the Shelby County Clerk's office.

Ware mostly listened during a budget hearing on the 5th floor of City Hall Monday night.  But it was a different story earlier in the day.

"To be very honest with you, I'm glad to be here," Ware said hours earlier during a news conference concerning her possible connection to corruption inside the Shelby County Clerk's Office.

"I want to emphatically and unambiguously state that I have never bribed anyone," Ware said.

Ware is named in a number of indictments as a person who paid clerk's office employees in exchange for special treatment when registering her vehicles.

She stuck to a prepared statement during her news conference and did not take questions.  She did focus on her faith.

"That I am a committed woman of God," she said.  "And I would never knowingly do anything to dishonor my God, nor the people that elected me."

Ware has not yet been indicted, unlike several county employees accused of taking her cash.

"I am praying for them and wish them well in their time of trouble," she said.

Ware urged the public to not rush to judgment.

The DA's investigation continues.  Additional indictments are possible in the clerk's office corruption case.

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