Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton spoke out Monday for the first time about a subpoena to appear in an Atlanta courtroom.
At a news briefing with reporters, Herenton said he has nothing to hide, and that his subpoena in the racketeering trial of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell is to testify on his behalf, not against him.
"During that judicial process, I will raise my right hand, and I will place my hand on the Bible, and I will respond to every question that's posed to me with the utmost of truth," Herenton said.
Recent accounts of the trial in Atlanta featured a former Campbell associate who told a jury he paid Herenton $9000 cash in the Mayor's City Hall office. Herenton would not discuss it, promising to answer questions after he testifies.
Instead, he blasted a Memphis news outlet that promoted a story throughout the Super Bowl. It was a story the Mayor called unfair and inaccurate, and he singled out the reporter who presented it.
"Look, I don't respect you as a journalist, and I don't need to respond to you," he said.
On his trip next week to Atlanta, Herenton told reporters he's looking forward to testifying, that he appreciates and respects former Mayor Campbell, and that city government is free of corruption.
"The City of Memphis government operates with honesty and integrity," he said.
While he confirmed he was going to Atlanta to testify next week, Mayor Herenton would not answer which day he planned to travel, because, he said, he does not want the media to follow him there.