Statement shows how Cooper is cooperating with FBI - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Statement shows how Cooper is cooperating with FBI

Since his indictment on money laundering charges Joe Cooper has been cooperating with the FBI. 

Recently Cooper was questioned as part of a lawsuit regarding a car that was leased to former Councilman Ford. 

 In a sworn statement taken in December Cooper suggests exchanging favors for votes was a common culture among many former city council members.
 "There are favors done every day down there," Cooper told attorney William Norcross.
In the December deposition Cooper described how he built relationships with council members in an effort to influence their votes on various zoning applications.

"And sometimes it's done in a legal way," Cooper says,  "but its a psychological thing.  If I'm on a fund raising committee and I raise you $50,000, you're not going to vote against me," Cooper said.

Attorney Norcross then asked Cooper, "Can you give me names of any members of the City Council other than Mr. Edmund Ford that y'all dealt with?"
Cooper responded, "Rickey Peete, Barbara Swearengen. The entire council.  Let me retract that, not the entire council.  There were a couple of people that we never really could build a relationship with." 

Cooper explained he convinced developer Rusty Hyneman to co-sign a car lease for Councilman Ford. But in a lawsuit filed recently Hyneman claimed his signature was forged. 

Cooper said he recommended Hyneman hire City Council attorney Allen Wade to represent him. 

Norcross asked, "Did you think it would help Mr. Hyneman get favorable treatment from the City Council when you recommended it?"

Cooper replied, "Absolutely." 

Cooper pleaded guilty in January of 2007.  

A year later, he has yet to serve any time behind bars.

Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.

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