VOL. 7 | NO. 46 | Saturday, November 8, 2014
Hodges Gets Three Years Probation
By Bill Dries
Former Millington Mayor Richard Hodges was sentenced to three years’ probation Friday, Nov. 7, for facilitation of bribery.
Hodges pleaded guilty to the charge in September and was sentenced Friday by Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan.
Hodges resigned as mayor in January 2012 and was charged in an investigation by the District Attorney General’s office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that went public in July 2011, the day after his wife committed suicide.
A month later, the TBI released an affidavit from a confidential informant that detailed illegal gambling by Hodges at a transmission shop near his home owned by Marlin Roberts. The investigation also found that the city’s police chief at the time, Ray Douglas, was present during the gambling but did not participate.
Douglass was never charged with any wrongdoing.
Hodges owed money to Roberts, several hundred dollars Hodges had borrowed, according to details of the investigation that Hodges’ pleaded guilty to. And to pay off the loan, Hodges agreed to pay Roberts with a badge making Roberts an honorary police officer.
Investigators detailed a phone conversation in which Roberts and Hodges quarreled over the badge and the money owed.
Roberts was later charged with official misconduct for threatening to arrest Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland in 2011. He was also the informant cited in the affidavit central to the case, although he was later critical of the way authorities handled the investigation.
At about the time of the offense, Millington police alleged Roberts was one of several people selling prescription drugs illegally in Millington.
But prosecutors dropped the drug charges against Roberts, saying their confidential informant in that case had lied to them.
Hodges’ attorney, Tommy Parker, of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC emphasized that no money changed hands in the bribery incident, adding in a written statement that the case was “not a huge corruption scandal.”
“Mr. Hodges wants the people of Millington to know that he made a mistake and regrets his actions,” Parker continued. “He never intended to be a distraction for his community. … Now, after three years, this case is over and hopefully everyone can move forward.”
Hodges was elected mayor in 2008 in a hard-fought upset of incumbent Mayor Terry Jones. Hodges had served as an alderman before becoming mayor.
The investigation of him began in December 2010 based on a tip to the District Attorney General’s office.
Jones was re-elected mayor of Millington in 2012.