Associates of Memphis mayor testify before grand jury

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is spending a lot of time these days trying to assure people he's done nothing illegal.

A federal grand jury is reportedly looking into how city contracts are awarded, and at least two of the mayor's associates have been called in to testify before the panel.

Grand juries work in secret so authorities won't say what the investigation is all about. But Herenton has sought to assure Memphis residents that he has conducted the city's business honestly and ethically.

Herenton owns a private real estate development company, and the grand jury is believed to be looking into whether the company has profited improperly because he is mayor.

The grand jury was impaneled in January 2008 and jurors can be required to serve for up to 24 months.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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