Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is charging that a powerful alliance of federal prosecutors, business interests and the news media is engaged in an all-out campaign to drive him from office, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Citing recent investigations of one of his appointees and into his business dealings, the city’s first elected African-American mayor cited what he called a dual system of justice manipulated by racially and politically motivated enemies. “You can’t beat Willie Herenton in an election, so let’s use the justice system and ink in the paper,” he said.
Herenton said he has not been interviewed by investigators or called before a grand jury and he criticized the government and media for scrutinizing city deals with minority businesses. “There is a perception that if you’re an African-American business and you’re doing business with the city, you’re corrupt,” he said.