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FBI Probing Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and Christmas Party Contributions

Mayor Willie Herenton/city photo

Mayor Willie Herenton/city photo

Now everyone knows that Christmas is a time of generosity. But in this case it appears it is better to give than to receive. And it looks like the Memphis mayor may have illegally received. Next Christmas could be a little gloomier for the mayor.

By Marc Perrusquia
Memphis Commercial Appeal
MEMPHIS — More than $50,000 in contributions to Mayor Willie Herenton’s annual Christmas party actually wound up in the mayor’s pocket, an investigation by The Commercial Appeal has found.

The payments, from an array of prominent businessmen, were to fund the elaborate annual party, yet large surpluses — in one year more than $20,000 — were handed to Herenton for his personal use.

Mayor Willie Herenton was the guest of honor at an Appreciation Party in December 2005, hosted by Pete Aviotti, assistant to the mayor. The FBI is investigating whether the mayor’s receipt of party donations was proper.
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