Council members react to Rickey Peete's resignation

Some Memphis City Council members said they were caught off guard by Rickey Peete's resignation Thursday, but most respected Peete's move and understood the decision.

"He had a lot to offer Memphis, and the whole thing is a tragedy for himself, his family, for the citizens of his district," said council member Jack Sammons.

Sammons spoke highly of Ricky Peete's ability, but said last November's federal indictment involving Peete and fellow councilman Edmund Ford hurt the council's credibility.

"(It was) immensely distracting (and) unpleasant," he said. "All of us care for Ricky. He's an immensely talented guy."

Ford, said he had no plans to resign.  "I am an innocent man," he said.  "I did nothing wrong, so this decision doesn't influence me."

Council and charter commission member Myron Lowrey said Peete's indictment and subsequent resignation may lead to changes for future city leaders. "Many citizens have approached the Charter Commission, and they are looking for a change in the city charter that would suspend any public official under indictment for public corruption," he said.

E. C. Jones, who announced Thursday he would not seek reelection, hoped  Peete's resignation would help restore public trust.  "Many people think the entire council are a bunch of bums, that they are not doing there job," he said. "That's not true."

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