Federal trial for Hooks delayed until summer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Another of the Tennessee Waltz public corruption trials was delayed Tuesday in federal court.

Memphis District Court Judge Daniel Breen moved back the trial of Michael Hooks from March 20th to August 7th.

Defense attorney Steven Farese told Breen he needs more time to review evidence against his client, which includes recordings, and prepare a defense.

Hooks was not in the courtroom today, nor was he required to be.

Hooks is one of two county commissioners charged in the federal probe. The other is William Cotton of Chattanooga.

There are also five sitting or former state legislators and two men who prosecutors describe as "bag men" who were charged.

Former state Representative Chris Newton of Cleveland pleaded guilty to extortion and bribery conspiracy and is set for sentencing February 22nd.

The bag men have also entered guilty pleas to passing along bribes to officials from an FBI front called E-Cycle Management, which wanted favorable legislation.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)