Tennessee Lawmakers Dragged out of Capitol in Handcuffs

Early this morning, several Tennessee lawmakers were dragged out of the State Capitol Building in handcuffs by the FBI.

A few names have surfaced including Ward Crutchfield (D – Chattanooga), Chris Newton (R- Cleveland), John Ford (D – Memphis). Just heard on the Phil Valentine show in Nashville that there could be as many as 12 arrests as the day goes on. Sounds like hysterics to me, but it does appear that some serious stuff is going down in the State Capitol. And might I add… IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!

UPDATE:

Add Kathryn Bowers (D-Memphis) to that list. According to WWTN in Nashville, the Feds will hold a news conference in Memphis at 12:00 ET to announce what the hell is going on.

UPDATE 2:

(via Bill Hobbs) More details here at the Tennessean.

FBI agents had interviewed Newton and Bowers earlier this month about a bill sponsored by all four lawmakers, among others, Newton said Monday.

The bill would have allowed electronic recycling companies to contract with the state to dispose of surplus state computer equipment not claimed by school districts. Newton said it was pushed by E-Cycle Management Inc., an Atlanta-area company, and Charles Love, a Hamilton County school board member and lobbyist.

Newton said the bill was clean and had satisfactorily answered several questions raised earlier by the state comptroller’s office. But Newton said he forced the bill to stall in a committee earlier this year, after Ford became embroiled in several ethics controversies over his dealings with state contractors.

“I don’t want to be in the middle of something that even has an appearance of impropriety,” Newton said.

Newton said he had not had any conversations with Ford about the bill, which he planned to withdraw Wednesday because Love had not registered with the state as a lobbyist.

I have a feeling that’s just a small piece of the puzzle.

UPDATE 3:

The Tennessean has updated its story after the FBI press conference in Memphis. Also arrested, former State Senator Roscoe Dixon, Dixon crony Barry Myers, and Charles Love, Hamilton County school board member and lobbyist. John Ford took at least $55K in bribes according to the indictments.

UPDATE 4:

Newschannel5 Nashville has all the indictments in pdf format here.

Today, we may get a black eye in the national media for what will rightfully appear to be rampant corruption throughout our state government. However, it’s a great day for average Tennesseans (like myself) who are sick of the crooked bastards running our state government – Republicrats and Demicans alike. Let the sweeping begin! Bring in the 8-story bottle of Clorox Clean-up to clean up the filth they’ve left behind.

Other coverage of this breaking story:

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