Thu., June 5, 2014 6:10pm (EDT)

Former Savannah Police Chief Faces Federal Gambling Charges
By Sarah McCammon with Tom Barton
Updated: 2 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Willie Lovett, 65, has pleaded not guilty of federal gambling and extortion charges. Credit: City of Savannah
Willie Lovett, 65, has pleaded not guilty of federal gambling and extortion charges. Credit: City of Savannah
The former chief of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police department says he’s not guilty of several federal crimes. A seven-count grand jury indictment made public Thursday charges former Chief Willie Lovett with extorting the operators of an illegal gambling ring in exchange for protection from police. Lovett, who’s 65, resigned in late 2013 amidst allegations of sexual harassment and corruption within the department.

GPB’s Sarah McCammon spoke with Tom Barton, editorial page editor at the Savannah Morning News, and asked him to explain the charges.