STATUS OF ‘TENNESSEE WALTZ’ DEFENDANTS
Sen. Kathryn Bowers, D-Memphis — Awaiting trial William Cotton — Reports to prison Monday after a jury convicted him on two counts Sen. Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga — Awaiting trial Former Sen. Roscoe Dixon, D-Memphis — Trial under way Former Sen. John Ford, D-Memphis — Awaiting trial Shelby County Commissioner Michael Hooks — Awaiting trial Charles Love — Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing Barry Myers — Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing Former Rep. Chris Newton, R-Cleveland — Pleaded guilty, now serving a year and a day prison sentence
Former Hamilton County Commissioner William Cotton is scheduled this week to become the second Tennessee Waltz defendant to begin serving prison time on federal extortion charges.
Mr. Cotton, 58, is scheduled to report Monday to Edgefield Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, S.C., where he will serve three years.
A federal jury in February convicted Mr. Cotton of conspiracy to commit extortion and attempt to commit extortion for taking $4,500 in bribes to support a resolution in the County Commission beneficial to an undercover FBI company, E-Cycle Management.
Efforts to reach Mr. Cotton last week were unsuccessful. The Edgefield Federal Correctional Institution is a mediumsecurity facility for male inmates, but prison officials said Mr. Cotton likely will be housed at an adjacent "satellite camp" for minimum-security prisoners.
Prisoners at the Edgefield Satellite Camp often provide inmate labor to the main institution or to off-site work programs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Weekly prison population counts indicate the main prison at Edgefield is home to about 1,500 inmates, while the satellite camp houses about 550.
The federal prison system does not offer parole, meaning Mr. Cotton will be required to serve his entire sentence. However, Mr. Cotton could receive a 15 percent sentence reduction for good behavior, which means he could be released more than five months before his three-year term expires.
Once released from prison, Mr. Cotton will be on supervised release for an additional three years. He must pay $9,500 in restitution and is forbidden from incurring any new debt or holding a position of public trust unless he gets permission from the court.
Others charged in the FBI investigation include state Sen. Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga; state Sen. Kathryn Bowers, D-Memphis; former state Sen. John Ford, D-Memphis; and Shelby County Commission Chairman Michael Hooks Sr., who all are awaiting trial.
Former Sen. Roscoe Dixon, D-Memphis, is on trial on extortion charges in Memphis.
Former Hamilton County Board of Education member Charles Love and Memphis political activist Barry Myers have pleaded guilty to acting as "bagmen" for the undercover company and delivering the bribe payments to various public officials. They are awaiting sentencing.
Former state Rep. Chris Newton pleaded guilty in August to extortion charges and in April began serving a yearlong prison sentence at a minimum security facility in Atlanta.