Ford, Lee, and MLGW Make The New York Times

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From the Monday New York Times:

Everybody has to pay the light bill, an unpleasant maxim lately made even more so here, knowing the powerful do not always observe it.

Calvin Lacy said, “The rest of us are getting jerked around.”

Month after month, Memphis Light, Gas and Water allowed City Councilman Edmund Ford to forgo paying thousands of dollars in overdue bills without having his power cut. Meanwhile, other prominent politicians — council members, a judge, a state representative — were on a protected list, supervised by a senior utility official, intended to prevent them from having their power cut off in case of nonpayment.

Even the mayor, Willie W. Herenton, was on the list, though Mr. Herenton says he did not know about it and never got any favors. It is not clear that anyone but Mr. Ford was allowed to pile up unpaid bills. Still, the whiff and practice of favoritism — detailed for the last several weeks in the local news media — is upsetting many in a city where nearly a quarter of the people are poor, and the local utility is publicly owned. ...

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