Thompson: "I've done nothing wrong" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Thompson: "I've done nothing wrong"

The construction company Bruce Thompson was doing consulting work for built three schools in Memphis.

The man who replaced Bruce Thompson on the county commission is also a law professor.

Steve Mulroy told Action News 5 Reporter Janice Broach Thompson's case is complicated and not like other corruption cases like Tennessee Waltz.

Former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson, after pleading not guilty to federal extortion and mail fraud charges, went before the cameras and spoke for the first time since he was indicted earlier this week.

Thomspon says, "I've done nothing wrong as I've said from the beginning."

Thompson is accused of taking more than 260-thousand dollars to steer a 46 million dollar government  contract to a Jackson Tennessee construction company that wanted to win a bid to build three Memphis city schools.

Shelby County commissioner Steve Mulroy asks, "Was he acting in his official capacity or not? I think it was an issue."  

Steve Mulroy replaced Thompson on the commission when Thompson decided not to run again last year.  Mulroy, a law professor at the University of Memphis, says Thompson's case is not as cut and dry as other defendants in who have been indicted on corruption charges.

"Most of these cases there's no question that what the person was doing was in their official capacity," continues Mulroy. 

Thompson says, "What I am accused of has absolutely nothing to do with others who have been accused or have gone to trial before me."

Mulroy says as a county commissioner Thompson did not have a direct supervisory role over the school board which was the body that actually chose the construction company. It was a school board contract.

Mulroy continues, "He had his consultant's hat and his commissioner's hat and the question is when he took the money what hat was he wearing."

Mulroy says it is a hurdle prosecutors did not have to deal with in the Tennessee Waltz cases but will have to overcome in the Thompson case.

Bruce Thompson said he had other consulting jobs involving public contracts while he was on the county commission. But Thompson would not name the clients and contracts.


Click here to email Janice Broach.

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