Bill would prevent convicted officials from seeking re-election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill that would prevent any of their colleagues who have been or may be convicted in the Tennessee Waltz scandal from seeking re-election.

The legislation has been introduced by Senator Jamie Woodson of Knoxville, who said there's a process for a convicted official to have his or her rights restored.

The bill unanimously passed a Senate committee today and is in a House subcommittee.

Last year's Tennessee Waltz sting operation led to five sitting and former lawmakers being charged with taking payoffs from undercover agents posing as lobbyists.

One of those former lawmakers, Republican Chris Newton of Cleveland, was sentenced to a year in prison. The one-time representative admitted taking a $1,500 bribe.

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