Former Memphis transit CEO pleads not guilty to prostitution charge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The former CEO of the Memphis Area Transit Authority has pleaded not guilty to a prostitution charge.

The Commercial Appeal reports that Ronald Garrison appeared Wednesday in Shelby County court on a charge of patronizing prostitution near a church or school. His attorney, Milton Magee, said Garrison entered a plea of not guilty.

Authorities said in January that Garrison was one of more than 40 people arrested in the city on prostitution-related charges as part of a sting operation.

State investigators said those charged were among hundreds who responded to prostitution-related advertisements on Backpage.com. Eight men tried to buy sex from a minor.

Garrison’s charge reportedly involves an adult.

More than 200 people have been swept up in the operation in Tennessee since 2015.