City leaders relieved about Lee resignation

For once, it seems city council members and the Mayor are in agreement.

They all say it was time for swift action to bring closure to the MLG&W scandal.

Moments after Mayor Willie Herenton announced the resignations of MLG&W President Joseph Lee and the utility's Chief Counsel, Odell Horton, Junior, city council members chimed in.

"It was not the straw that broke the camel's back, it was the straw that buried the camel. This whole situation has just festered and it has just gotten to the point that it was obviously damaging the community," said council member Scott McCormick, who applauded the mayor's move to accept the resignations.

Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware says she was surprised to hear the news, but she supports the mayor's decision.

"I would hope that the level of confidence that the citizens have in what is really one of the greatest utility companies in the country, that it would be restored," she said.

Council Chairman Tom Marshall says the council is going to scrutinize Memphis Light Gas and Water more closely in the future.

"We've learned our lesson. We gave Light, Gas and Water cart blanche for so many years. I think what you're going to see now is we're going to examine every request," he said.

And now that the matter is behind them, council members say they can focus on running the city.

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