Council advised not to take action against Herenton - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Council advised not to take action against Herenton

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Council chairman Myron Lowery admitted Tuesday he was not surprised by city attorney Allan Wade's opinion regarding a possible ethics violation by Mayor Willie Herenton.

"His opinion was based on the facts of law," Lowery said.  "And I don't believe it was based on personal relationships."

Lowery requested Wade's opinion after a Commercial Appeal investigation revealed that while Herenton publicly pushed to relocate the downtown Greyhound station, he privately obtained the rights to buy and redevelop the property.  The mayor reportedly made more than $90,000 in the process.

"I wanted to know what action, if any, should the council take regarding this," Lowery said.

Wade finally presented this lengthy opinion over the weekend.  As for the Commercial Appeal investigation, Wade cautions "a newspaper article is not competent proof of any violation of the city's ethics ordinance not of any other applicable law."

Citing the city charter and details of the real estate deal, Wade concludes "under the circumstances it is our opinion that no action on the part of the council is required."

"I personally agree the council should not take any action that would impede or hamper any FBI investigation or grand jury inquiry that's going on right now," Lowery said.

Lowery said that could change if a grand jury decides to indict the mayor.  He added that any other member of the Memphis City Council can still bring the issue up for discussion.


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