State Senator Jerry Cooper submits resignation letter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State Senator Jerry Cooper submitted his resignation letter to Governor Phil Bredesen today after being hit with a record fine last month for a campaign finance violation.

The resignation caps a tumultuous year for the Morrison Democrat.

Cooper was acquitted of land fraud charges in a federal trial and pleaded no contest to drunken driving charges after a single car accident on Interstate 24.

He was fined a record $120,000 by the Registry of Election Finance for moving campaign funds into his personal account. His lawyer says Cooper can't afford to pay the fine in time to qualify for next year's elections and will ask for a reduction.

The heavily Democratic Warren County Commission will select a temporary replacement for Cooper.

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