Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Somebody Prayed For Him

I hope Mr. Hooks believes in the limitless power of prayer. When he looks at the meager sentence he received for his involvement in the Tennessee Waltz. He has to know there is a God somewhere. And he has placed on him his unmerited grace. The whole family showed up, to petition the judge on his behalf. You best believe some favors were called in for him. Dr. Benjamin Hooks the family patriarch showed up as well, in a wheelchair. He has gone from getting the "Presidential Medal Of Honor" to using his influence to keep a family member out of jail. I hope Mr. Hooks doesn't get it twisted, and think it's all about who his family members are. And remember above all else. Somebody prayed for him.


Blogger Common said...

Tennessee Waltz: Hooks Jr. gets 30-day term
Fraud at Juvenile Court was the first whiff of corruption
By Lawrence Buser (Contact)
Thursday, April 10, 2008

Michael Hooks Jr., whose family name has long been synonymous with civil rights and local politics, was sentenced to 30 days in federal prison Wednesday for his role in a bogus-invoice scam in 2001 in the Juvenile Court Clerk's Office.

The former Memphis school board member was charged in a small-scale fraud case involving $3,000 or less, but it led to the wide-ranging public corruption investigation dubbed Tennessee Waltz that resulted in nearly a dozen elected officials and aides going to prison.

Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal

Michael Hooks Jr. leaves the federal building Downtown after being sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in federal prison for his involvement in a bogus-invoice scheme that produced the beginnings of the Tennessee Waltz corruption investigation.

Among those convicted was Hooks' father, Michael Hooks Sr., a former Shelby County commissioner who is serving a 26-month prison sentence for accepting $24,200 in bribes from undercover agents posing as crooked businessmen.

The younger Hooks, 33, pleaded guilty in January to accepting $1,500 in fees for consulting work at Juvenile Court for work he did not do. Federal prosecutors said they could prove that amount, though Hooks admitted the figure was closer to $3,000. He said he also received some money for legitimate work he did.

"I accept full responsibility for my actions and have no one to blame but myself," Hooks told U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen. "My family needs me and my community needs me."

Through his attorney, Hooks asked the judge for probation, while federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza recommended a sentence within the advisory guideline range of zero to six months in prison.

Breen also ordered Hooks to serve four months of home confinement upon his release from prison.

In about six weeks, the federal Bureau of Prisons will notify Hooks when and where to report.

"We accept the sentence imposed by the court and Michael's ready to move forward," his attorney, Glen Reid, said after the 20-minute hearing.

Reid told the judge that while his client accepted some money for work he did not do, Hooks Jr. also was paid for some legitimate consulting work and was not aware of the political deal-making that was going on around him.

Prosecutors have said that political operative Tim Willis, a key witness in the Tennessee Waltz investigation, was paid more than $60,000 in 2001 from invoices he submitted to the court clerk's office and that some of it was distributed to a number of others besides Hooks Jr.

DiScenza told the court earlier that there was "an understanding" that Hooks Sr. would cast his commissioner's vote for fellow Commissioner Shep Wilbun to become Juvenile Court clerk in exchange for his son being given a job in the clerk's office.

The plan was deemed "politically unwise," prosecutors said, so the consulting work and bogus-invoice scheme was created by Willis and others.

Wilbun, who lost the clerk's job in the 2002 election, was not charged with a crime and knew nothing of the scheme, his attorney has said.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Common said...

In Brief: Hooks Jr. begins 30-day sentence
Friday, May 16, 2008

Former Memphis Board of Education member Michael Hooks Jr. reported Thursday afternoon to the low-security Federal Correctional Institution at Yazoo City, Miss., to serve his 30-day sentence for fraud.

Hooks, 33, pleaded guilty in January to accepting $1,500 in fees for consulting work he did not do.

His arrest led to a broader investigation called the Tennessee Waltz that resulted in convictions of several Memphis-area elected officials, including his father, Michael Hooks Sr., who is serving a 26-month federal prison sentence in Alabama.

2:10 AM  

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