Obama no longer a wanted man in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Obama no longer a wanted man in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - President-Elect Barack Obama is no longer a wanted man in Memphis. Obama was cited last month by a code enforcement officer for illegally posting campaign signs. Now, someone else has taken the fall.

Keith Norman is taking the blame. He said he did it hoping to boost voter turnout.

"Well, it was a very interesting morning," Norman said.

Back from two hours in environmental court, he said the judge was lenient. Lenient in a case against president-elect Barack Obama.

But Norman says they got the wrong guy. That he is the real perpetrator.
 
"This was an effort called paint the town blue," Norman said.

Norman is the Chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party. Hoping to boost voter turnout, he helped post hundreds of Barack Obama signs around town. Many on public right-of-way.

A code enforcement officer cited Barack Obama for posting campaign signs illegally. Norman took the fall, pleaded guilty, paid $163.50 in fines, and signed paperwork promising it would not happen again.

A case that left a crowded courtroom disappointed.

"They were expecting Barack Obama to show up. When they brought the charges up and I stood up there was this aww, this deep sigh that went over the courtroom like awww, this guy???" Norman said.

Environmental court officials said this case is not all that unusual and that it happens all the time.

After the 2007 mayor's race, Willie Herenton, Carol Chumney, and Herman Morris were all on the docket on the same day. Charged with posting political signs posted illegally.

Each case transferred to campaign committees.

In this case, Norman said he is proud to have been involved.

"Hopefully, I'll get a chance to meet him one of these days and have him autograph these and I'll frame them and put them on the wall," Norman said.

He plans on keeping the proof.

Norman says he holds no ill-will toward the code enforcement officer, that he was merely doing his job.


Click here to e-mail Nick Kenney.

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