Hooks family affected by recent guilty plea

Political analysts say Michael Hooks senior's guilty plea Monday, and likely prison sentence, marks the beginning of the end of an era for the Hooks, family, but others aren't so sure.

They were a powerful political threesome; Michael Hooks, Sr. on the Shelby County Commission, wife Janet on the Memphis City Council, and son, Michael Hooks, Jr. on the Memphis City School Board.

But now, not one holds an elected office.

"The Hooks family, no longer in a position of influence in Shelby County," said Rhodes College Political Science professor Michael Nelson.

The Hooks dynasty began to fall apart last September when Hooks Sr., was indicted in Operation Tennessee Waltz. The next month, Janet Hooks stepped down from the Memphis City Council, followed days later by Hooks, Jr., who was also later indicted in the federal corruption sting.

"Well this may be a period in which some of the great political families of Memphis are beginning to pass from the scene," Nelson said.

Johnnie Turner, Executive Director of the Memphis NAACP, says no one should count the Hooks family out yet.

"We live in a country that forgives people, particularly when they take ownership," Turner said.

"I just think that the good that has been done by the Hooks, in this community, if anyone of the Hooks, if they so desired and wanted to come back,  the community would accept it," she added.

It's still too soon to say whether the last chapter in the Hooks family saga has been written.

Both Mike Nelson and Johnnie Turner say Hooks, senior's statement today that he pleaded guilty because he is, will go a long way toward regaining his personal and political reputation.