TBI Raids City Hall in Tennessee

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TBI Raids City Hall in Tennessee

Postby Todd » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:52 pm

TBI Raids Millington City Hall

(Millington, TN 7/27/11) Tennessee Bureau of Investigations agents as well as Shelby County agents have raided several buildings in Millington this morning.

Millington City Hall and a business called Transmission Doctors on Easley Road were targeted as well as several other locations.

The search is related to complaints to the Attorney General's office concerning an official misconduct complaint filed in December 2010.

We've been told arrests are expected in this case.

The raids come a day after Mayor Hodges wife Rita committed suicide.

News Channel 3 has a crew in Millington and will bring you new information on www.wreg.com as well as News Channel 3 at Noon.
Below is a statement from the Shelby County District Attorney:
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Criminal Investigators with the Shelby County District Attorney General and agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation executed several search warrants throughout the county today. The search warrants are part of an ongoing criminal investigation. The investigation, which began in December of 2010, is in response to complaints of official misconduct in Millington, TN.

http://www.wreg.com/news/wreg-tbi-condu ... 3056.story
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"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody." Calvin Coolidge
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Re: TBI Raids City Hall in Tennessee

Postby Todd » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:35 pm

Mayor's gambling, bribes, debts at heart of Millington inquiry, investigator's affidavit says

By Tom Bailey Jr.
Posted August 5, 2011

Millington Mayor Richard Hodges used the power of his office for bribes, routinely gambled at a car repair shop and owed more than $10,000 in interest-free IOU's to a Millington businessman, a state investigator's affidavit indicates.

"Based on the interviews and recorded conversations ..., I believe that evidence of official misconduct, bribery, and gambling will be found at Millington City Hall (Mayor's Office) and the Transmission Doctors in Millington," TBI Special Agent David Harmon states in the search-warrant affidavit released Friday.

The document details a series of interviews with a confidential informant who owns a transmission shop in Millington.

According to the documents, Hodges and others gambled in the shop, and the informant loaned Hodges more than $10,000.

Hodges used both a stick and carrot, threatening the businessman with code enforcement inspections and providing him with a police badge, the affidavit states.

An hour after the Criminal Court clerk's office released the affidavit, Hodges called The Commercial Appeal. He said he had not seen the documents.

When told about the investigators' accounts, Hodges said he had not known about a confidential informant, adding, "I can't comment."

Agent Harmon's affidavit states:

The informant told agents he had loaned Hodges more than $10,000 interest-free and had four to five outstanding IOU's.

Hodges issued the informant a real police badge on Nov. 22 as "joke."

When the informant showed it to Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland, Roland became angry and reported it to City Hall.

Hodges took the badge back because of Roland's complaint.

The informant also told agents that "gambling frequently occurs in his Transmission Shop (Transmission Doctors) in Millington" and Hodges participates. The typical hand in cards was for $5 to $10.

The affidavit does not name the informant, but the apparent owner of Transmission Doctors is Marlin T. Roberts. Reached by phone Friday, Roberts told The Commercial Appeal, "I've been instructed not to comment while under investigation."

On April 15, the TBI agent interviewed Mike Bogensnider, who said he frequently gambled with Hodges and others at Transmission Doctors.

Gambling also occurred at City Hall, Bogensnider said.

Roland used to gamble with him at the transmission shop, Bogensnider said.

He also said Millington Police Chief Ray Douglas would watch the gambling games, but didn't play.

On April 21, the confidential informant provided TBI agents copies of six IOU's totaling more than $10,000 written and signed by Hodges. They had not been repaid.

On April 27, the informant was being interviewed by TBI agents when Hodges called the informant's cell phone. The agents listened in.

Hodges and the informant discussed the money Hodges owed. Hodges said, "What about the $40,000 worth of drainage?"

The confidential informant later told the agents that Hodges previously told him the city would provide the informant drainage work, a curb cut, trees, grass and other work outside his Millington business.

The informant said Hodges believed he could get the work done at no cost to the informant.

In the same phone call, Hodges said it was the informant's fault that Hodges' wife, Rita Hodges, had tried to kill herself after being told by the informant that her husband was still gambling at the informant's transmission shop. (Rita Hodges would later commit suicide on July 26, a day before the TBI raid.)

On May 25, Hodges called the informant as agent Harmon listened. Hodges told the informant that his wife, Rita, appreciates "that" (apparently referring to money) and was excited about doing things over the weekend and getting some clothes.

The informant told Hodges he couldn't write a check until his bookkeeper approved it. Hodges replied, "No, no. Cash."

The informant told Hodges he was jumping the gun. Hodges replied it was worth "that" to keep the badge and ID card. The informant told Hodges that he was not sure he could loan him any money and Hodges said, "I didn't say loan me, I said give me."

On May 27, TBI agents again listened as Hodges called the informant. Hodges said he'd give the informant one more chance to loan him $150.

Hodges also told the informant he would send a code enforcement official to inspect the informant's plumbing to his heaters and to ask for a plumbing permit. Hodges told the informant he wasn't playing and don't push him.

The informant later told the TBI that Hodges did dispatch the codes officer and shut down work at the shop.

Agent Harmon again listened in on June 24 when Hodges called the informant.

The informant asked Hodges if he had the police badge for him and Hodges responded, "Do you got my $1,000?" The informant responded if that's what he has to do.

"Richard Hodges stated that is what you got to do and bring me the money up here (Millington City Hall) right now while Christi (secretary) is not there."

Hodges again called the informant while the agent listened. Hodges and the informant argued about the sequence of Hodges receiving $1,000 from the informant in exchange for a police badge.

When the informant told Hodges he didn't think Chief Douglas would "up it," Hodges replied Douglas didn't have a choice.

Harmon and state District Attorney's investigator Tim Helldorfer interviewed Douglas on July 21 at the TBI office in Memphis.

Douglas told them he was in the mayor's office on July 5 when he heard Hodges tell the informant over the telephone that Hodges wanted $1,000 before the informant could get back the police badge.

Douglas told Helldorfer he would not return the badge to the informant because Hodges "was trying to extort money" from the informant.

Douglas also confirmed to the agents that he witnessed gambling at Transmission Doctors.

Hodges' attorney, Tommy Parker of Baker Donelson, said he had reviewed the affidavit, adding, "In my experience a written description of a conversation can be misleading. We look forward to working with the DA's office in getting the whole story."

-- Tom Bailey Jr.: (901) 529-2388

Taken as evidence

Among items state agents seized in Millington raids on July 27:

Police Department: Badge, computer, letters, reserve officer phone lists.

Hodges' residence: InSouth Bank receipts; Trustmark bank documents; InSouth Bank promissory note; manilla folder of Patriot Bank documents; InSouth Bank deposit slip; yellow legal page; napkin with written figures; IRS invoice; credit score document; six-column ledger.

Public Works: "List of yards to be cut by mayor."

Code Enforcement office: miscellaneous paper documents.

Transmission Doctors: Millington police badge with ID and wallet; three sets of playing cards; three watches; napkin with writing; "26 hydrocodone with pill bottle''; two Darvocets; "letter and copy to City of Millington from Taylor Roofing."

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/20 ... ted-using/
---------------------------
"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody." Calvin Coolidge
Todd
Guide
 
Posts: 14434
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Tennessee


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