By Andy Sher Nashville Bureau
NASHVILLE A Senate ethics subcommittee is recommending an ethics complaint be dropped against Sen. Jerry Cooper, D-Smartt, who has been pegged as a possible target in a federal fraud case stemming from the 1999 sale of his lumber sawmill operation.
>The subcommittee interviewed former state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Baxter and other department staff and concluded there was nothing that suggested Sen. Cooper used his official position to unduly influence state action on a state grant and a federal loan program.
Earlier this week, Sen. Cooper asserted his 5th Amendment rights and refused to testify in the upcoming federal trial of an Alabama man and McMinnville, Tenn., real estate appraiser who have been charged in connection with the sale of the property.
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