Lawmakers: Newton prison term reinforces anti-corruption message

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers say the year-long prison sentence given former colleague Chris Newton for taking bribes reinforces the message that public corruption will not be tolerated in state government.

State Senator Steve Cohen of Memphis said it sends a message about the reality of jail time.

House Minority Leader Bill Dunn of Knoxville said his fellow Republican betrayed the public's trust and needs to spend time behind bars. He said taking bribes as a public official should not be tolerated.

Senator Kathryn Bowers of Memphis, under indictment in the bribery scandal, said she wasn't bothered by Newton's sentence and added that she's continuing to concentrate on her job.

Senator Jeff Miller of Cleveland, who remains under investigation after accepting a one-thousand dollar cash donation linked to the federal sting, said he wishes Newton "the best."

State Representative Glen Casada of Franklin said the prison term is a wake-up call.

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