County Commission Chairman Indicted by Federal Grand Jury

Occassionally outspoken as chairman of the Shelby County Commission, Michael Hooks Sr. was mum after surrendering himself to the federal authorities Tuesday afternoon.

"I have instructed Mr. Hooks not to make any statements to the press," said Hooks attorney Steven Farese.

Hooks' attorney did al of the talking. He told us his client will plead not guilty during an arraignment next week.

"We will be arraigned, will enter a plea of not guilty and the process begins," said Farese.

Hooks is charged in a two-count indictment with accepting bribes in exchange for his influence on the commission. Hooks allegedly promised to help the sham company E-Cycle get a contract with the county. Feds say he took more than $24 thousand during nearly a dozen meetings. One of the meetings between Hooks and the FBI allegedly took place at the South Main bar Ernestine & Hazel's. feds say Hooks pocketed $3700 during a meeting inside the bathroom. The indictment alleges that Hooks was on the hunt for some easy money and saw E-Cycle as a potential cash cow.

His attorney said he needed more time to study the evidence and perhaps view it too.

"They've given some indication there may audio and video tape," said Farese.

So, like the now infamous tape of former senator John Ford allegedly accepting cash, similar evidence of Michael Hooks may exist.