The results of the Aug. 2 election on a Millington sales tax hike were changed Tuesday, Oct. 9, to show the tax hike for a municipal school district was approved by 12 votes instead of losing by three votes, reports the Memphis Daily News.
The court order by Chancellor Arnold Goldin came after attorneys for the city of Millington, who filed suit contesting the previous results, and the attorney for the Shelby County Election Commission agreed there was a “mathematical certainty” that the half-cent sales tax hike passed.
“There doesn’t seem to be any question about it,” Goldin said after both sides told him they agreed on the resolution of the dispute.
The summary judgment means there will be no re-vote on the Millington sales tax hike. It also means Millington voters – some of whom are already voting absentee and others who will still see the countywide sales tax hike ballot question on the early voting ballot starting next week – will not be eligible to vote on the countywide sales tax hike.
The “confidential informant” who appeared to be the pivotal witness against Millington Mayor Richard Hodges lashed out Monday against a TBI investigation, saying Hodges is guilty only of gambling in friendly poker games at a local repair shop.
More from the Commercial Appeal account:
The witness, Transmission Doctors owner Marlin Roberts, said Hodges never used his office to solicit bribes or threaten him for money, crimes suggested in a TBI affidavit filed on Friday.
“I love Richard and he is family to me,” Roberts said. “I want Richard Hodges to be vindicated of all charges.”
As of Monday evening, Hodges had neither been charged nor indicted. But Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents laid out a case against him in an affidavit released Friday supporting search warrants for raids on July 27.
“There are truly two questions that you should be seeking the answers for,” Roberts told reporters beckoned to his shop. “Why, hours before I was to appear before the grand jury for questioning, would it be canceled? And why would the TBI ever release the information and whereabouts of a confidential informant?”
See also the Memphis Daily News, which ties the mayor’s difficulties into a ‘brief but volatile’ feud with the local police chief.
Soon after (Chief Ray) Douglas was appointed, Hodges talked openly of Douglas having to adapt to policing in a small town. To Hodges, that meant being less formal and less by the book.
One of the stories he told was of arguing with Douglas about whether a patrol car at a block party had to keep its engine running at all times. Hodges didn’t think so. But the argument ended with him ordering Douglas to have the officer leave the car sitting in the road with its engine and flashing lights turned off.
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, according to a state investigator’s affidavit obtained by The Commercial Appeal.
“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.
The embattled Millington mayor said Thursday he’s running the city more indirectly this week while state authorities are investigating allegations of official misconduct, reports the Commercial Appeal.
Mayor Richard Hodges said he’s avoiding talking to certain department heads and employees who might be asked to give accounts to investigators or a grand jury.
“I’m not talking to people who are getting deposed,” he said.
“… If (the probe) goes further down the road, I don’t want to be in a position where if they ask any employees or me if we had talked or I gave them orders, I can say no,” Hodges said.
“I kept my mouth shut and will not say anything.”
Investigators with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office used search warrants July 27 to raid the mayor’s office, his home, several other city offices and a transmission shop.
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Shelby County District Attorney’s office investigators are raiding city offices in Millington.
District attorney spokesman Vince Higgins said the officers were serving warrants Wednesday morning after an investigation into a complaint of official misconduct.
Higgins said the complaint was made with the district attorney’s office last December and centered on activities in Millington. He declined to elaborate on what type of misconduct was involved or to say exactly who was being served with the warrants.
Higgins said the warrants were being served at several locations in Shelby County.