Mon August 29, 2011
TBI Digging--Literally--In Millington
By Eleanor Boudreau
Memphis, TN – An investigation into Millington's government that excavated a massive amount of paper from city hall and the mayor's house, among other places, today progressed to actual excavation. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is digging a hole outside Transmission Doctors, a Millington auto shop
Early in the morning men in hardhats broke through the driveway outside Transmission Doctors with a concrete cutter. The men then rolled in a backhoe and began digging. Periodically they stopped to scoop dirt into zip-lock bags.
Even before this digging began, Transmission Doctors appeared to play a pivotal role in the joint investigation by the Shelby County District Attorney's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation into government corruption in Millington.
Initial search warrants were obtained based on an affidavit by Special Agent David Harmon of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. In that affidavit Harmon said he interviewed a confidential informant who owns Transmission Doctors. The informant said gambling went on in his shop and Millington Mayor Richard Hodges wracked up $10,000 of debt, then offered to have city employees do drainage work and tree pruning outside the shop in order to pay that debt. The informant also said the mayor offered him a Millington police badge in exchange for $1,000.
In the Transmission Doctor's driveway, several men stood just beyond a ring of yellow caution tape, staring into the deepening hole. The man who they identified as the owner said he had, "No comment, I'm sorry."
Special Agent in Charge for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation John Mehr showed up to inspect the earth. He said, "We're pulling up soil out of the ground. They're going to analyze it to see what is in the soil."
Mehr said he couldn't comment on what investigators were looking for, but he said it was likely crews would be back Tuesday, looking for more dirt.