Mayor calls for action in sex plot case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Mayor calls for action in sex plot case

It's been one year since Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton uttered these words:

"I stand before you today as a victim of a politically motivated conspiracy," said the mayor last June.

Unhappy with the progress of the the case, Herenton recently sent a letter to special prosecutor Joe Baugh.  It reads, in part, "..that justice will be served in the end by a thorough investigation and examination of this matter with a grand jury." 

Otherwise, Herenton writes that it is another example of a criminal justice system "..that routinely turns a blind eye to blatant criminal conduct if it has its origin in the white community."

"Obviously, in this situation, the mayor wants a trial," says political analyst Larry Moore.

Moore is professor, lawyer, and former assistant Memphis city attorney.

"I know he's upset about it," says Moore.  "But sometimes thank heavens for unanswered prayers," he adds.

The alleged scheme to smear the mayor involved pay-offs by attorney Richard Fields to cocktail waitress Gwen Smith.  She was supposed to videotape a sexual encounter with the mayor in an attempt to ruin his chances for re-election.

Moore says any trial would be a sex circus too.

"And this would be something ready for Jerry Springer," he adds.

He says it would overshadow any real attempt to find justice in one crazy case.

Joe Baugh had no comment on the progress of the case or the mayor's letter.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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