Peete sentenced to 51 months in prison; three years supervised release - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Peete sentenced to 51 months in prison; three years supervised release

Rickey Peete outside court Wednesday. Rickey Peete outside court Wednesday.

Former Memphis City Council member Rickey Peete was sentenced to 51 months in prison and three years supervised released during a hearing Wednesday morning in federal court.

Inside the courtroom, Peete was tearful before his sentencing as he addressed Judge Samuel Mays.

"I am humiliated, remorseful, and ashamed of my actions," he told the judge.  "I accept responsibility in my error of judgement."

Peete's attorney, Handel Durham, said the emotion was real.

"What you saw was his heart," Durham said.

Three people, including Peete's pastor, spoke on his behalf, urging Judge Mays to be lenient because of Peete's work helping underprivileged people in Memphis.

Mays, however, was not swayed, handing down a sentence that was to the higher end of the recommended guidelines, saying Peete had carried out a "carefully planned, executed crime."

Last June, Peete pleaded guilty to bribery charges, admitting he took $12,000 in exchange for his influence on the Memphis City Council.


Peete's plea agreement did not include a promise to testify against any other defendants federal prosecutors are after, including City Council member Edmund Ford, who was also indicted on extortion and bribery charges.

The term of 51 months will be Peete's second trip to federal prison.

He was convicted of extorting money from home builders while on the council in 1989 and spent two years in prison plus six months in a halfway house.

In court, Judge Mays said he was disturbed Peete didn't learn from his mistakes when he served his prison sentence 18 years ago.

Peete was re-elected to the Memphis City Council in 1995, but resigned last May after being indicted.

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