Mayor's longtime friend testifies in federal probe

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is under federal investigation for city contracts that went to his friend Elvin Moon.

For years, reports have surfaced in the Memphis media that raised eyebrows about business dealings between Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and his longtime pal, Elvin Moon.

Now, for the first time, we're hearing from Moon's camp about a federal probe swirling through City Hall.

"Mr. Moon is a successful businessman," his attorney, Robert Hutton, said Monday. "His policy has always been, whenever I asked, to fully cooperate with any kind of law enforcement - fully and completely."

Federal investigators are digging for information involving more than $700,000 in noncompetitive city contracts that went to Moon's company.

There are also reports the mayor's private real estate firm sold a plot of land to Moon for $50,000, and that Moon sold it back for $10.

Hutton could not say much about the FBI probe.

"I cannot talk about the federal investigation," he said. "I can tell you Mr. Moon has been assured that he is not the target of the investigation.  He is a cooperating witness."

Hutton would not say what Moon witnessed.

"We wouldn't want to do anything to in any way compromise the investigation that may be ongoing," he said.

Moon has been in constant contact with federal investigators.

"He has fully cooperated, talked to the law enforcement, testified for them, and will do so in the future if asked," Moon said.

Herenton has constantly maintained he has done nothing wrong.

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