Skip to comments.Ex-senator (D -Tenn) may not go to trial in corruption case, lawyer says
Posted on 08/23/2005 10:20:35 AM PDT by Hadean
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Former state Sen. Roscoe Dixon is undecided if he will go to trial to fight public corruption charges, his lawyer said in court Tuesday.
Outside the courtroom, defense lawyer Walter Bailey refused to say if Dixon is talking with prosecutors about a guilty plea.
Dixon is one of five current or former state lawmakers charged with bribery or extortion in a federal investigation called Tennessee Waltz.
At a routine hearing for setting court dates, Judge Jon McCalla asked Bailey if Dixon expected to go to trial.
"We're not sure yet," Bailey said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza told McCalla another court session would be needed before a trial date is set. McCalla scheduled that appearance for Dixon on Sept. 22 and said a trial could be held in November.
Dixon, a Memphis Democrat, refused to say anything as he left the courthouse.
On his comment to the judge, Bailey said, "If you're not in a position to tell the court definitively what direction you're going, that's the language you use."
Dixon is charged with taking payoffs when he was in the Senate from undercover FBI agents. The government says those payoffs were funneled through Barry Myers, a Dixon associate in Memphis.
Myers pleaded guilty Aug. 1 to extortion conspiracy and told McCalla he passed along payoffs to Dixon and Sen. Kathryn Bowers, D-Memphis. Myers said the money came agents pretending to work for E-Cycle Management, a company that supposedly sought illegal legislative favors in Nashville.
Bailey said he and Dixon are still evaluating the effects of Myers' guilty plea.
"We just have to take it one step at a time," Bailey said.
Bowers' lawyer has said she is determined to go to trial.
Myers and Charles Love, both described as bag men by authorities, also were indicted in the Tennessee Waltz investigation, which court records indicate is ongoing.
Love, a Chattanooga lobbyist, pleaded guilty Aug. 16 and told Judge Daniel Breen that he passed along payoffs to Sen. Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga, and Rep. Chris Newton, R-Cleveland.
Myers and Love are scheduled for sentencing in February, after they could be called to testify in court for the government. Lawyers for Myers and Love say no plea deals were worked out with the government. Prosecutors can make sentencing recommendations, however.
Also indicted in the investigation is former Sen. John Ford, a Memphis Democrat charged with threatening a federal witness as well as extortion.
The lawmakers have all pleaded innocent.
BTT and sent on to Mike Fleming at WREC 600.
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