Commissioners react to Calvin Williams indictment - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commissioners react to Calvin Williams indictment

Shelby County Commissioner John Willingham fielded calls all night long.

"I wish that this wasn't happening," he told one caller.

He's worried about the ramifications of this latest federal indictment. It charges former county commission administrator Calvin Williams with accepting bribes for political favors. It came Wednesday, a month and a half after commissioner Michael Hooks Senior was swept up in the Tennessee Waltz sting.

"I'm waiting for the other shoe to fall," says Willingham.

He says corruption scandals have caused quite a stir inside the county building. This is how he describes one recent encounter with a visitor.

"This person walked up and said how you doing John?" Willingham recalls. "We shook hands and he starts patting me down," he adds. "You're not wearing a wire are you?"

He believes the fear may be founded in fact. And additional indictments against county officials could follow.

"I've been in government over 30 years," says Commissioner Walter Bailey. "I've seen unfortunate events and I've seen glorious events," he adds.

While unfortunate is how he'd describe recent indictments, Bailey doesn't believe county government has suffered a serious blow. But he admits, there's no way of knowing who or what might be next.

"I would hope that it has reached its finality," says Bailey.

Only federal prosecutors know for sure. And they're not talking.

Calvin Williams was expected to turn himself into the feds Thursday morning. His only comment Wednesday was "no comment."


Previous story:

A federal grand jury indicted former Shelby County administrator Calvin Williams Wednesday on two counts.

Both counts stem from when Williams was an employee of Shelby County.

The first count alleges Williams attempted to affect interstate commerce, and the movement of articles and commodities in interstate commerce, by extortion. The second count alleges Williams accepted $1,500 in money involving business actions in Shelby County.

Tune in for the very latest on this story tonight on Action News 5 at 10pm.

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