Embattled Millington mayor reflects as term ends early - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Embattled Millington mayor reflects as term ends early

(WMC-TV) - The City of Millington named an interim mayor Friday as embattled Mayor Richard Hodges retired.

Hodges was investigated and then indicted before his eventual arrest last year on bribery charges.  He left office Friday confident he will be cleared.

"I know I'm innocent and will be proven innocent," said Hodges.

Hodges sat down with Action News 5 minutes before he left office one year early.

"There's one particular person from his business that's sworn he put me in office and he'll take me out, so I'm sure he's real happy," said Hodges.

Hodges blamed political rivals and personal vendettas for his downfall, as well as the media.  He insisted he only exercised bad judgment in choosing friends.

"My mama told me a long time ago, when you run with the dogs, you'll get fleas on you," he said.

Hodges is accused of offering city resources to the owner of a transmission shop to whom he owed $10,000 in gambling debts.

A TBI investigation included raids on both Hodges' home and office one day after his wife committed suicide.

"My wife, in her condition, could not have lived through this," said Hodges.  "No earthly way."

Hodges said his immediate plans include properly mourning his wife, which legal troubles and city business since her death kept him from doing.

"Even when I announced I was going to retire, I couldn't believe the number of people who called and came by and said, don't do it," said Hodges.

Hodges did not attend a special meeting of the board of aldermen Friday, during which former member Linda Carter was selected to finish his unexpired term.

Carter will serve as mayor for the remainder of the year.

Hodges did not rule out returning to politics in the future.

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