One week later, Herenton still believes Smith's story

One day after Gwendolyn Smith was ordered to jail for violating probation, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton told Action News 5 he was standing behind her story.

"Her past is her past, but from all indications of the information she has given me, unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that they're true," he said in an interview Thursday.

Smith claims that rich Memphians, including attorney Richard Fields and MLGW board member Nick Clark, tried to blackmail Herenton by paying her to have sex with him on videotape.

It never happened.

"I have no reason to believe that Miss Smith has submitted any information to me that was not truthful," Herenton said Thursday.

In a letter mailed last week, Herenton made a plea to the nation's top law enforcement official, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, to look into the matter.

Gonzales alluded to the letter during an appearance Thursday in Oxford.  "I'm aware the department has received a letter, and the letter is being reviewed by the department," he said.

Herenton said he was pleased that state officials have already made a move, by appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the claims.

"At the end of the day, if individuals have broken the law, they've breached public trust," he said. "Then I think there should be the appropriate remedies."

Unlike last week, Herenton did not name any of the alleged conspirators by name in Thursday's interview.

to email Jason Miles.