According to the Commercial Appeal , former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson, 48, "joins a long list of public officials from the Memphis area implicated in corruption allegations as part of the federal government's continued, intense scrutiny of lawmakers… As a sitting commissioner in 2004 and 2005, Thompson was paid more than $270,000 by H&M Company of Jackson to help it win a $46.7 million contract to build three city schools, the indictment charges."
When you look back at the past few years, it is hard to argue that this type of behavior is not systemic to the current political system. Office holders can't simply marginalize these infractions as minor conflicts of interest, even with the help of county attorneys. To reference these lapses in ethical judgment against the "current" climate, demonstrates how long the bankrupt system has existed and how engrained these practices have become in our elected bodies.
Once again, it's hard to believe that the politicos in this town would use their office for personal gain. However, if you look at it from the view of most of today's county commissioners, as long as Bruce offered it to everyone, he'd be all right. I can't imagine that he left anyone out of the loop. That just wouldn't be right. With this type of reasoning Bruce Thompson is innocent.
In all seriousness, with the recent scandals of the Tennessee Waltz and the Main Street Sweeper, there is a clear pattern of influence peddling and corruption within the political system of Shelby County. I think most voters have seen enough of this and are demanding change. We're not asking for much, we're just asking folks to be honest in office.