Herenton claims he received target letter from prosecutors - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Herenton claims he received target letter from prosecutors

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton revealed Tuesday he has received a letter from the local U.S. Attorney's Office informing him he is a target of a federal criminal investigation.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton told Action News 5 what a "target letter" means to a lawyer like him before entering the Freedom Awards Gala Tuesday night.

"Every target letter I've seen - and I've seen a bunch of them - they're serious," Wharton said.

Wharton said a target letter usually signals the end of an investigation and is meant to put a potential defendant, like Herenton, on notice.

"You don't play with target letters," Wharton said. "It takes a long, long time to get a target letter."

Herenton talked about the target letter in a fiery letter of his own addressed to United States Attorney General Eric Holder.

"Approximately one week ago, I received a communication from the local U.S. Attorney General's Office informing me that I am the target of a federal investigation," he wrote in the letter.

"This investigation involves personal business transactions that I participated in while Mayor and which specifically concern a local Greyhound Bus Line Property," he added.

In his letter, Herenton argued it's all part of a conspiracy to undermine his Congressional campaign.

"Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have been the target of a rogue federal investigation," he wrote.

Herenton even accuses the federal government of breaking the law when obtaining records from city hall regarding his private business dealings. That's something the former Mayor Pro Tem disputes.

"The FBI gave a subpoena to city hall," Myron Lowery said outside the Freedom Awards Gala.  "We complied with that subpoena.".

"Even without a subpoena, I have no problem giving over records and they'll get whatever they request," Wharton said.

Some say reaching out to officials in Washington might mean Willie Herenton realizes an indictment could be imminent.

Click here to read the letter.

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