Millington mayor discusses bribery charges, wife's suicide

(WMC-TV) - Indicted Millington Mayor Richard Hodges spoke to Action News 5 Thursday about the death of his wife and the bribery charges he is facing.

"I have people ask me, 'well, how are you holding up?'" said Hodges.  "I say because the good Lord and friends."

Hodges plans to retire January 13 after he was indicted on bribery charges.  He said he hopes the charges do no overshadow what he has accomplished while in office.

"It's like anything else, you do a lot of good, but one little thing you stomp your toe on and that's just the way it is," said Hodges.

One of Hodges' most important goals was improving the Millington infrastructure to avoid massive flooding.

"We've recruited a grant to do a study on Big Creek, million dollar grant, and what we are looking at doing is putting another retention levee somewhere else over here on Big Creek," he said.  "If we can get that done, that would alleviate the flooding in Millington forever."

Hodges said it is still tough going home at night.  His wife committed suicide one day before federal agents raided his office at city hall.

"To be honest with you, it's been six months and I haven't really had time to even mourn about my wife," said Hodges.  "I'm looking forward to doing that because she deserves better."

Hodges said he does not get much sleep and has replaced the bed he shared with his wife.  He said he spends most nights on the couch and rarely returns to the area of his home where his wife hanged herself.

He said his wife's dog gives him comfort.

"When I took office January the first and was sworn in, I walked in my office, previous mayor left me a rotten apple, a notepad and a pencil," said Hodges.

Hodges said he will help the next mayor pick up where he left off.  He is scheduled to return to court January 5 for a discovery hearing.

Hodges said people will be pleasantly surprised when his side of the story comes out during the trial.

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