Roscoe Dixon, longtime Tennessee state lawmaker, dies at 71

Roscoe Dixon, longtime Tennessee state lawmaker, dies at 71
Roscoe Dixon (Source: Remer, Jessica)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A longtime former Tennessee state lawmaker has died.

Family members tell us former Democratic State Sen. Roscoe Dixon died last night. He was 71.

The former state senator and state representative spent decades at the Capitol in Nashville representing Memphis. He was one of about a dozen state and local lawmakers caught up in the Tennessee Waltz Operation, accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes in the early 2000s.

Dixon was convicted of bribery in 2006 and spent several years in prison.

His friend and attorney Javier Bailey says Dixon’s legacy shouldn’t be summed up by one incident.

“He helped to fund and put together Memphis Health Center, which is still operating today,” said Bailey. “He should not be defined by one error in his life when he had a whole career of community service and public service.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland tweeted in memory of Dixon Friday.

“He was always gracious and encouraging to me, including two years ago when I knocked on his door campaigning,” wrote Strickland. “He invited us in for 30 minutes of reminiscing -- a great memory today.”

Funeral plans have not been announced.

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