TBI raids Millington government buildings - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

TBI raids Millington government buildings, mayor's home

(WMC-TV) - Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents conducted raids Wednesday at numerous Millington city government buildings and a transmission shop.

Sources said investigators raided Millington's Public Works Department, Police Department, City Hall, a local business  - Transmission Doctor, and the home of Mayor Richard Hodges.

Agents spent all morning in Hodges' office.  They were serving search warrants, however, it was unclear what type of case the TBI was investigating.

Vince Higgins, spokesperson for the Office of the District Attorney General, said the warrants were part of an ongoing criminal investigation which began in December of 2010 in response to complaints of official misconduct in Millington.

Higgins declined to elaborate on what type of misconduct was involved or to say exactly who was being served with the warrants.

Wednesday raid happened just one day after Hodges' wife committed suicide. Higgins said the timing of the raids and her death were not connected.

"I cannot comment on any circumstances leading to the search warrants," Higgins said. "I can say that our investigation is throughout and it will probably include elements of that incident that occurred last night, but at this point, no, there is nothing I can speak to on that."

Hodges, too, had little to say.

"I just have one comment and one comment only. It's politics as usual,'" he said early Wednesday afternoon as he left City Hall.

But Hodges' son, Daniel, called his "mother" an angel who always had a smile on her face.

"She was just down," Daniel Hodges said. "That's all that happened.  She just wanted to be with Jesus."

Even as officers raided Mayor Richard Hodges' home, his son said the investigation was not the family's top priority.

"I can care less about it," Daniel Hodges said. "We ain't worried about that right now. We're worried about my mom and getting all the stuff situated.  All that stuff doesn't even matter. Family is always first."

Back at City Hall, Higgins said no arrests were made Wednesday.

"However, this is a criminal investigation and criminal charges could be forthcoming," he said.

Transmission Doctor owner Marlon Roberts did not want to talk, but did speak about Hodges' wife's suicide.

"I wish y'all would think about Richard and what he is going through and let him bury his wife," said Roberts.

Roberts would not comment about what, if anything, agents took from his transmission shop.

"I'm still here," he said.  "My doors are still open, that should say something."

Meanwhile, the people of Millington had plenty to say about the state's investigation into allegations of misconduct.

Rhonda O'Dell is Millington's former storm water manager.  In April, she sent the mayor a list of questionable city purchases that had nothing to do with storm water.  On June 30, her position was eliminated.

"The timing of it and my position being eliminated I think are very suspicious," said O'Dell.  "Although he did me a favor and opened me up to be able to speak for the employees."

Kevin Frazier resigned from the Millington Police Department two months ago for similar reasons.

"I'm very happy because I feel like it's a long time coming," said Frazier.  "Do I feel a little bit of redemption?  Yes."

Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland said he is pleased the TBI is looking after the constituents in his district.

"When my customers come to me, I have to act upon that," he said.  "Because if I don't act upon that, then I'm just as quality as the people they're telling me about."

Roland's wife, who is Hodges' secretary, has told authorities what she knows.

"If she knows something, she's going to tell it," said Roland.

While no one is ready to take credit for blowing the whistle just yet, many consider their concerns the tip of the iceberg of what investigators will uncover in Millington.

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