The restaurant is seeming constructed entirely out of dark woods, leathers and wine bottles. Not the sort of place I could afford on a reporter’s salary.
A large man in an expensive suit is waiting for me in the lobby. He walks me back to a private room.
There he pats me down, asks me if I’m wearing a wire, takes my bag before waving me in.
Inside, the mayor dines alone.
“Burress, man, how long you been on my ass?” He saws through a steak as he speaks. The meat is just this side of raw.
“Couldn’t say, probably about as long as you’ve infatuated with breaking the law, your honor.”
That stops him eating. He points at the chair opposite him. “Sit.”
I sit down, smiling. “So what’s with the summons? You avoid talking to me like I’m one of your baby mommas.”
“Your wish came true. The Feds got me. They’re taking it. The money, my houses, everything. So I need you.”
“Me? What for?”
“You’re going to write my story. We’ll split the money. Cause when I get out, I’m sure as hell not going to be poor. Burress, you finally got your damned interview.”
To say Memphis politics aren’t corrupt would be to deny that fire is hot and water is wet. We’ve had mayors rule the city like it was their own puppet kingdom, dozens of elected officials brought down in a single day by a federal sting, and a sense of elected entitlement that cannot be stopped. But the thing that I can’t figure out is how none of those crooked politicians have managed to swing a good book deal out of it all.