The last of five lawmakers indicted in an undercover public corruption probe dubbed the Tennessee Waltz pleaded guilty Monday to bribery. Former state Sen. Kathryn Bowers, 64, a Memphis Democrat, pleaded guilty to one federal count accusing her of splitting $11,500 with an accomplice who served as a go-between with FBI agents posing as dishonest businessmen. She had insisted for two years that she was innocent.
``She came to accept that what she did was wrong,'' defense lawyer William Massey said before the hearing. ``She stood very firmly, for a very long time, in her belief that she was not guilty.''
In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dropped five more serious charges of extortion, each carrying a maximum of 20 years in prison.