Ethics panel fading to obscurity 10 years after Tenn. Waltz

Tennessee State Capitol generic

By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – In the typical fray of the legislative session, few paid close attention to a seemingly innocuous bill about recycling computer equipment. That was until federal agents started arresting lawmakers.

Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the arrest of five former lawmakers in the FBI’s bribery sting operation codenamed Tennessee Waltz. The case involved a scheme by lawmakers to collect money in exchange for shepherding through bills on behalf of the company called E-Cycle Management.

E-Cycle was an FBI front company that secretly recorded 2,000 hours of video and audio of lawmakers being wined and dined – and paid off in cash by undercover agents.

Following the corruption sting, lawmakers were spurred into trying to improve transparency and ethics in the Statehouse. A decade later, most of those efforts have faded.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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