Date registered: Jul 2005
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Although, Kelvin Ellis was convicted of voter fraud, tax evasion, and pled guilty to obstruction of justice and plotting to kill a government witness, his "running a prostitution ring out of City Hall" charge did not make it to court!Today, Kelvin Ellis, the man held behind bars for plotting to murder the federal witness said there are more indictments to come:
Former Democratic Party Leader and Director of Regulatory Affairs, Kelvin Ellis told the judge that he understood the charges against him and pled guilty on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 to obstruction of justice and plotting to kill a government witness. His trial had been set for today, October 17.
And he said the federal investigation that led to arrests of eight people with links to City Hall is not done yet.
"I'm certain there are other targets," Ellis said with a trademark, gap-toothed grin. He declined to name one, but insisted, "I can't be the be-all, end-all. There has to be something else."
Ellis had been a top aide to Mayor Carl Officer in the 1990s, and previously served 18 months in prison for using his position in city government to get kickbacks. He eventually found his way back to power in City Hall.
When Officer returned to the mayor's office in 2003, their relationship was "strained," Ellis said. Officer has recently supported some Republican candidates. For that, Ellis said, he wants Officer out of power.
A former choirboy, Ellis now has accumulated four felony convictions. He is the son of two East St. Louis teachers and the father of 15 children. He complained of not receiving regular doctor visits for his diabetes during 10 months at the Tri-County Detention Center, deep in Southern Illinois. It often is used as a stop-off for federal inmates facing immigration charges.
Or maybe like this?
Democrat State Senator Jerry Cooper (District 14- Bledsoe, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Sequatchie, Warren and Van Buren Counties), sponsor of the billion dollar sales tax increase, a bill to give illegals drivers licenses, 20 year Senator and chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee finds himself the subject of federal investigations.
With investigations underway by TBI, the IRS and a Federal Grand Jury one might think more people would be up in arms about the alleged fraud and potentially criminal activities by State Senator Jerry Cooper. Unfortunately, this is one of the least covered scandals Tennessee has ever seen. Investigative reporter Phil Williams of News Channel 5, Nashville broke the story well over a year ago and provided source documentation for every assertion. Phil has followed it closely since but it is difficult to find anyone outside of Nashville that is aware of the details.
News Channel 5 (www.NewsChannel5.com) sums it up nicely, “It was a deal involving a piece of land that Cooper couldn't sell... until he convinced state officials to commit $300,000 of your tax money to build a rail connection to the property. That commitment... on top of another $500,000 state loan to help his buyer purchase equipment... brought the senator a sale price of $1.3 million dollars.”
While all the details may never be known, what we know now is enough to question the Senator’s judgement and ethical standards. State Senator Jerry Cooper, deeply in debt from his sawmill operation, turned a property he could not sell into a hefty profit by using his political position and friends in government to approve $300,000 in taxpayer dollars to build a railroad spur to the property. Then sold it for $1.3 million. http://newschannel5.com/news/investi.../atrequest.pdf
The buyer, Huntsville contractor Tony Auyer, told Phil Williams the spur was critical to the deal.
Once the spur had state approval, Cooper used his connections (then Congressman Bob Clement) to secure a federally guaranteed loan for $1.8 million. That loan was made by BankTennessee and guaranteed by the USDA. Oddly enough, Lt. Governor John Wilder is one of the owners of BankTennessee…
News Channel 5 uncovered documents showing payment from Auyer to Cooper for $1.3 million. $800,000 of that went to pay off Cooper’s mortgage. $500,000 went into Wilder’s bank to guarantee the loan. Other documents uncovered in the investigation indicate the value of the property would decrease without the spur.
Cooper then went back to the government and persuaded friends in the Department of Economic and Community Development to approve a $500,000 equipment loan for Auyer, using federal Community Development Block Grant funds.
The loan was approved despite concerns that “the project was above average risk”, a “large amount of debt” was being incurred, “the deficiency of the collateral”, and the “inexperience of the owner.”
Despite all the hard work by Senator Cooper to provide Auyer with hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars and protect his own security deposit, Auyer managed to go bankrupt. Auyer was indicted for wire fraud for allegedly submitting fake invoices to the state and was thought to have pocketed most of the $500,000 equipment loan.
Luckily, the state was able to stop the railroad spur project in time to save most of the $300,000 earmarked for the spur construction.
Shortly before his scheduled trial date, prosecutors dropped charges against Auyer (the man that purchased Cooper’s property with a federally guaranteed loan that Cooper used his position to secure -after using his position to approve a $300,000 railroad spur which was critical to the sale) and shifted focus to Senator Cooper.
Charles Lewis, Executive Director for the non-partisan national legislative watchdog group Center for Public Integrity (www.publicintegrity.org) said, “It’s an outrageous act by a sitting legislator – one of the worst I’ve seen, in fact.”
Cooper recently resigned as chairman of the Fiscal Review Committee, the committee described as the “watchers of the money”, probably a good move given his fiscal history. After defaulting on multiple loans, a Warren county judge ordered Cooper’s state senatorial pay garnished to repay the loans, but the interest on the loans is accumulating quicker than Cooper is paying it, leaving him with a total debt of close to $1 million.”
Union Planters Bank is also reported to be foreclosing on Cooper's property claiming he owes $200,000.
Cooper has also been in the news recently regarding the Federal Grand Jury investigation into state contracts handed out during the Sundquist administration.
Just checking mac.
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