Former County Lawmaker Charged With Extortion, Fraud

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A former Shelby County lawmaker was charged with extorting more than $250,000 from contractors on a multimillion dollar school project.

The charges by a federal grand jury accuse Bruce Thompson of extorting the money by claiming he could control the Memphis school board's vote on a contract for the $47 million project.

Prosecutors said Thompson told the contractors that without his help and campaign contributions passed along by him to certain school board members, a bid to get the contract would be in jeopardy.

The indictment was issued by a grand jury that has been investigating the school board's business practices for several weeks.

The charges in the indictment carry a maximum 80 years in prison and $1 million in fines, though federal sentencing guidelines call for a much lighter punishment for a first-time offender.

The construction contract awarded three years ago was for building three schools.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 11265506 -
Gray Television, Inc.