Edmund Ford and Rickey Peete are currently under indictment on federal bribery charges as a result of a public corruption investigation tagged “Main Street Sweeper.” They allegedly took bribes in exchange for voting to support a billboard moratorium.

Yesterday was the first city council meeting since the sting went down.

Felon Rickey Peete (he was convicted of bribery 17 years ago but the voters put him back in office anyway) is, so far, apparently the classier of the two. He said he would not vote on any planning and zoning issues and actually resigned as chairman of the Center City Commission.

On the other hand, he retains his seat on the commission and will still vote. Further, he is also a member of the Community Industrial Development Board and the Riverfront Development Corporation. All three of these bodies deal with planning and zoning issues every day. It’s what they do and it’s all they do! So how is Peete recusing himself from actions for which he is currently (and once again) under indictment?

And how could Peete possibly be classier than Ford?

Because Ford refuses to even consider promising to recuse himself from every zoning vote. And because he is falling into the race-baiting behavior of claiming government conspiracy:

“Hey, they good at making movies,” said Ford.

Yeah, that’s helpful.

So what is the city council doing to clean up its image?

The council can’t make a member resign until they are convicted, but Councilman Jack Sammons proposed a resolution that “humbly, prayerfully and respectfully” requested that Peete and Ford step down from the council and concentrate their energies on their legal defenses.

Voting for the resolution were Carol Chumney, Myron Lowery, Tom Marshall, Scott McCormick, Jack Sammons and Brent Taylor.

Voting against were Dedrick Brittenum, Joe Brown, Barbara Swearengen Holt, E.C. Jones, TaJuan Stout Mitchell and Edmund Ford.

That’s right, Ford cast the vote that tied the coucil 6 to 6. (Peete hadn’t shown up yet.)

Of course, the coucil can vote to remove Ford and Peete from every committee and commission, thus drastically limiting their power. Anyone think that’ll happen?