Memphis Mayor Says He's Victim of Sex Scandal Conspiracy

MEMPHIS, TN - Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton says unnamed conspirators tried to set him up for a sex scandal to undermine his re-election efforts.

The conspiracy, Herenton said, focused on a nightclub waitress who told police she was recruited by the mayor's enemies to entice him into a sexual liason.

He described himself yesterday as the "victim of a politically motivated conspiracy."

Herenton refused to name suspected members of the conspiracy but said he has called on Memphis police, the Justice Department and the governor to investigate possible criminal violations by his enemies.

Police said an investigation has begun into a report by Gwendolyn D. Smith that she was paid to try to entice the mayor and damage his reputation.

Herenton plans to run for a fifth term in November.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)