Love changes plea in Tennessee Waltz case

A Chattanooga lobbyist pleaded guilty today in Memphis to federal charges that he delivered payoffs to two state lawmakers.

Charles Love is one of two men accused of passing along bribes from undercover agents to state lawmakers in a sting known as Tennessee Waltz.

Love is charged with funneling cash payments to Senator Ward Crutchfield of Chattanooga and Representative Chris Newton of Cleveland. The two lawmakers also are charged with bribery and extortion in the operation.

His attorney said there was -no- plea deal and Love -will- testify in other cases if subpoenaed.

Love was the second of seven defendants charged in the investigation to plead guilty.

The first came from Barry Myers, a political operative, who admitted passing along F-B-I payoffs to two Memphis Democrats, Senator Kathryn Bowers and former Senator Roscoe Dixon. Also charged in the case is former state Senator John Ford of Memphis, who resigned from the Legislature two days after he and the others were arrested in May.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)