MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A 29-year-old nightclub waitress who claims that a prominent attorney paid her to entangle the Memphis mayor in a sex scandal has more to tell about the alleged plot, her attorney said.
Gwendolyn Smith is currently serving time in a Nashville jail for probation violation from an unrelated conviction, attorney Jay Bailey told the Memphis Daily News.
He expects her to be released in less than a month, but Smith has already been interviewed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation about her claims.
She has said that attorney Richard Fields offered her $150,000 to lure Mayor Willie Herenton to have sex and to videotape the encounter.
"Let me also say this: There is no question in my mind that Miss Smith has done the right thing by coming forward and revealing what she knew about the activities of the other people who were engaging her to ... go after Mayor Herenton," Bailey said.
But Bailey said his first priority for his client is the charges of smoking marijuana while on probation for an 2004 forgery conviction in Nashville.
"When I got involved in the case, she still had a violation of probation warrant on her, and so I did like most criminal defense lawyers would do and immediately shut everything down until we could get that part over with," Bailey said. "Now that that has been disposed of, I am now orchestrating her cooperation in the investigation."
Once the TBI has finished its investigation, the case will be turned over to a special appointed prosecutor, former Williamson County District Attorney General Joe Baugh.
"Generally, once we're asked to investigate, our agents will go to work and update (the prosecutor) periodically," said TBI spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson. "We may have legal questions that we need to ask, or we may just want to confer with them about a particular issue. Some district attorneys prefer not to know anything until the case is finished."
Meanwhile, Herenton filed for re-election to a fifth term earlier this month, seeking to become the city's longest serving chief executive.
Baugh declined to speculate how long it might take to finish the case.