Michael Hooks, Jr.
Michael Hooks, Jr. is the eleventh public figure to be arrested as part of the Tennessee Waltz sting executed by the FBI.

Background summary:

  1. The FBI makes the first arrests in TN Waltz 26 May 2005, netting five lawmakers, a lobbyist and a bag man.
  2. County Commission Chairman Michael Hooks, Sr. is arrested as part of the sting on 30 August 2005.
  3. Michael Hooks, Jr. leaves the Memphis city school board in October 2005 to get a masters degree and “spend more time with his family”.

So much for that plan, as Hooks Jr. has been indicted on four counts. He is accused of receiving tens of thousands of dollars for false invoices submitted to the Shelby County Juvenile Court clerk’s office, not to mention lying to the FBI when asked about the case.

The most interesting bit of information comes from today’s Commercial Appeal:

The charges relate to an alleged scheme in the Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk’s office that gave birth to the now sweeping federal investigation known as Tennessee Waltz.

In other words, Michael Hooks, Jr. started it all and is responsible for his father’s arrest last August. And it was an arrest warrant that was issued for Michael Hooks, Jr. in 2001 that got his father arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia (but not drug charges, even though cocaine was found in the kitchen next to a pot of boiling water).

So Junior screwed Senior once again. Daddy must be so proud.

Hooks’ first big controversy (in 1999) was over the awarding of school construction contracts; instead of several small contracts giving local contracts a shot at getting the work he got a slim majority of the school board members to grant one huge contract to a big Detroit-based firm that had ties to U.S. Congressman Harold Ford Jr.

On this topic, Hooks was quoted as saying:

Five thousand dollars [a board member’s annual salary] isn’t worth the beating I’ve taken from my fellow board members or the press. It gets so frustrating that sometimes I feel like quitting altogether.

A most telling quote, as evidently $5K and community service isn’t enough for this member of the political machine (his great uncle was the civil rights pioneer and NAACP executive director Benjamin Hooks and Memphis’ first black judge).

He (allegedly) went for the big dollars of fraud. One wonders if he received money under the table from the Detroit construction company as well. Ah well, some things we will never know for sure.

Kudos to Thaddeus Matthews for having sources tell him way back in August 2005 that an indictment was coming for Michael Hooks, Jr. His sources also told him that city councilwoman Janet Hooks (wife of Michael Hooks, Sr.) could be indicted but that, as yet, has not happened.

TeamGOP quips:

If this keeps up Memphis may actually run out for elected Democrats to put in jail.

The Flypaper Theory, which can’t help but be snarky when anything Republican is reported, has three lines on this topic.

LeftWing Cracker can only muddle out two lines, but devotes one to hoping for a Republican downfall:

The CA story notes that this whole thing started in the Juvenile Court Clerk’s office; please let it be after Steve Stamson took over……….

Oh-so-sorry Cracker! Take this, from the CA:

When Willis landed a consulting and lobbying contract with then-Juvenile Court Clerk Shep Wilbun, the seeds of the Tennessee Waltz were planted.

So not only has this scandal led to the arrest of ten other people (all Dems or RINOs), it may very well knock Shep out of serious contention for his attempt to retake the court.

Yo Cracker! Stamson cleaned up that court and you want to take him down? Is there an iota of non-partisan back-the-man-not-the-party in you?

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