; "Official" Explanation: Defining "Official Capacity" and Related "Color of Office" Phrases in Bribery and Extortion Law
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"Official" Explanation: Defining "Official Capacity" and Related "Color of Office" Phrases in Bribery and Extortion Law


Prior to that, bribery allegations surrounding Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson involved the colorful detail of $90,000 in cash allegedly found in his freezer during an FBI raid.3 Closer to home in Tennessee, the Operation Tennessee Waltz scandal has garnered public attention for several years, as a sting operation that led to a number of criminal allegations of bribery involving state legislators.4 The success of Tennessee Waltz led to the similar and more recent Operation Mainstreet Sweeper, which resulted in the federal indictments of several Memphis, Tennessee City Councilmen.5 The scandals led the state legislature to pass a sweeping new public ethics law, which required local jurisdictions across the state to pass their own local ethics codes by the middle of 2007.6 Rivaling these cases in public attention was the earlier high-profile federal bribery prosecution of Logan Young, a Memphis, Tennessee resident and well-known booster for the University of Alabama football program.7 The case arose from a 2002 NCAA investigation leading to sanctions against Alabama which cost the university scholarships and bowl appearances.8 Young was accused of netting a star high school football athlete for the Alabama college football team by secretly paying his high school football coach to persuade the athlete to sign with the University of Alabama.9 The case triggered higher scrutiny of the long-kept open secret of financial corruption in college football recruitment, and received national attention as Young became one of the first college football boosters to be sentenced to federal prison for recruiting violations.10 The case was also the first to examine the precise definition of official capacity for the purposes of the Tennessee bribery statute, which makes it illegal to offer a pecuniary benefit to a public servant with the intent to influence the public servant's . . . action in the public servant's official capacity.

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