Most recently arrested in Waltz going to trial first

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The first public corruption trial in the Tennessee Waltz investigation is ready to begin in Chattanooga.

It's the first one since FBI agents secretly recorded "bagmen" delivering cash for promised government favors. Hamilton County Commissioner William Cotton has remained free on bond since September pending his trial on charges of attempted extortion and conspiracy to attempt extortion.

He is charged with taking bribes totaling $4,750 in return for promising to help a fake company created by the FBI.

Cotton is the first of seven current or former officials in Tennessee to go to trial in the case.

Jury selection in Chattanooga begins Tuesday. Jurors are likely to hear some of the thousands of hours of undercover tapes in the investigation.

Defense attorney Hank Hill said prosecutors advised him they are not planning to call the accused bagman in Cotton's case, former lobbyist Charles Love of Chattanooga, to testify.

Love has pleaded guilty to passing along payoffs.

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