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Keyword: fordfraud

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  • TENNESSEE State Sen. Ford responds after latest outburst

    02/15/2012 5:29:18 PM PST · by SmithL · 22 replies · 1+ views
    WSMV-4 NBC ^ | 2/15/12 | Cara Kumari
    NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A state lawmaker with a history of impassioned speeches was at it again at the Capitol. This time, Sen. Ophelia Ford, D-Memphis, wanted to talk about nurses and her experiences in the hospital. Sen. Ford reacted during a senate committee meeting Tuesday night over a proposal that would increase penalties for assaults on healthcare workers. The Memphis lawmaker talked about her own experience during two separate hospitalizations in recent years. "I cannot tell you the horrific experience that I had, and it was nurses who were mainly doing these things to me," she said. The bill...
  • Court Overturns Ford Corruption Conviction

    04/14/2011 2:37:49 PM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies
    The Daily News (Memphis) ^ | 4/14/11 | Bill Dries
    Former state Sen. John Ford’s federal TennCare fraud and corruption convictions were tossed Thursday morning by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court specifically found that Ford’s failure to disclose that he was working as a consultant for a TennCare contractor while he was a state senator voting on policies governing TennCare wasn’t a matter for the federal courts. It was instead a matter for state government, the court ruled. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the use of the “honest services” federal statute also figured prominently in a ruling that could mean Ford will be released...
  • Harold Ford Jr. defends his 'Hardball' comments on torture

    05/13/2009 1:54:51 PM PDT · by SmithL · 20 replies · 885+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 5/13/9 | Bartholomew Sullivan
    WASHINGTON — Former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is taking exception to MSNBC host Chris Matthews’ suggestion that Ford’s views on torture after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were “veering into Cheney territory.” Ford sent an e-mail message to the Washington bureau of The Commercial Appeal today to clarify that he is “adamantly opposed to torture,” but that, “given the environment that our intelligence officials were operating in after 9/11, it is not surprising that ‘enhanced methods’ were executed in an effort to gain valuable and, in some cases, actionable, intelligence…” Any effort to link me to former Vice President...
  • Video: Harold Ford says, “I would have voted for torture”

    05/12/2009 8:34:00 AM PDT · by RobinMasters · 5 replies · 1,043+ views
    Hot Air ^ | May 12, 2009 | ED MORRISSEY
    And, of course, Chris Matthews goes apoplectic, while Chris Cillizza wisely stays on the sidelines — and, one presumes, jots down notes quickly for a Fix update. Matthews starts spluttering about “Cheney talk” and completely misses Ford’s point, which should shock no one (via Instapundit):
  • MEMPHIS: Former girlfriend of John Ford is fired from library job

    11/25/2008 9:02:30 PM PST · by SmithL · 16 replies · 1,257+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/25/8 | Jody Callahan
    Connie Mathews has been fired from her job at the Memphis Public Library, city officials said today. Mathews, mother of two children by former state senator John Ford, falsified information on her application, according to an official statement from city spokesman Toni Holmon-Turner. “It has come to the attention of the City of Memphis administration that Ms. Connie Mathews falsified information contained in her employment application for the Memphis Public Library. Therefore, Ms. Mathews’ employment with the City of Memphis will cease immediately.” Mathews was hired as an assistant library cataloger at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center. She...
  • John Ford's girlfriend gets job at Memphis Public Library

    11/17/2008 1:02:03 PM PST · by SmithL · 9 replies · 1,353+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/17/8 | Amos Maki
    The girlfriend of former State Senator and convicted felon John Ford is working for the city. Connie Mathews, who has two children by Ford, is an assistant library cataloger at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center. Mathews, who began her job Nov. 10, works at the Central Library on Poplar and has an annual salary of $28,580. Mathews, who has a background in banking and finance, is known locally for her run-ins with Ford’s ex-wife, Tamara Mitchell Ford. In 2001, Mitchell-Ford drove her silver Jaguar into the Collierville home Mathews shared with Ford. Ford was the marquee defendant in...
  • Judge orders Ophelia Ford's bill paid

    10/31/2008 7:07:21 PM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies · 1,216+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 10/31/8 | Richard Locker
    State told to take care of legal fees from suit NASHVILLE -- A federal judge in Memphis has ordered the state to pay $117,263 in attorneys fees to the lawyers who represented state Sen. Ophelia Ford when the Senate voided her 2005 special election. That was $12,575 less than the attorneys sought. U.S. Dist. Judge Bernice Donald ordered the reduction on the grounds the state was not responsible for costs incurred by Ford in the early days of the proceeding, before the state Senate began its own proceedings to vacate the election. Prior to that, Ford was fighting an effort...
  • Tennessee - Former Sen. Ford sentenced to 14 years

    09/29/2008 3:49:23 PM PDT · by HAL9000 · 20 replies · 1,375+ views
    Associated Press (excerpt) ^ | September 29, 2008
    Excerpt - NASHVILLE — Former Tennessee state Sen. John Ford has been sentenced to 14 years in prison on federal charges of wire fraud and failing to report more than $800,000 in payments from state contractors. ~ snip ~
  • TENNESSEE Sen. Ophelia Ford rails on state funeral fees

    08/23/2008 10:21:53 AM PDT · by SmithL · 18 replies · 535+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/23/8 | Richard Locker
    NASHVILLE -- State Sen. Ophelia Ford -- already a YouTube star for her snarling "what you're saying ain't hittin' on nothin' with me" speech last year -- was back at it last week, berating regulators about new state fees on the funeral industry. Acknowledging that she's a licensed funeral director, Ford complained in a legislative hearing Aug. 13 that fees are going to "eat us up and put us out of business." She demanded regulators disclose who imposed a new $150 biannual registration fee on preneed funeral sales agents and what it's for. Turns out that Ford and her legislative...
  • After eight hours of jury deliberation, Ford faces up to 20 years in prison

    07/18/2008 10:47:33 AM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies · 478+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 7/18/8 | Richard Locker
    NASHVILLE -- A federal court jury convicted former state senator John Ford of all six charges in connection with his $850,000 in consulting work for two major TennCare contractors. Ford, 66, is already serving a 5 1/2 year sentence for a separate conviction on federal bribery charges in Memphis. He faces up to 20 years in the Nashville case but sentencing will not occur for several weeks, possibly months. The middle Tennessee jury deliberated a total of eight hours -- six on Thursday -- before returning to the courtroom where it sat since the trial began on July 1. The...
  • John Ford sought to amend financial interest forms after media reports surfaced

    07/09/2008 12:08:24 PM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 417+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 7/9/8 | Richard Locker
    NASHVILLE -- Then-state senator John Ford filed state-required financial interest disclosure forms yearly for 2001 through 2004 without listing any consulting work or income -- and then sought to amend them in 2005 after media reports began surfacing about his consulting income and a formal ethics complaint had been lodged against him, according to testimony today in his federal court trial here. Earlier testimony has indicated that the consulting firm in which Ford was a 40 percent partner received about $1.2 million from a TennCare dental services provider during that time. But under questioning by prosecutors, Senate Chief Clerk Russell...
  • Former Senator Faces More Bribery Charges -- John Ford Already Serving Prison Sentence

    06/09/2008 1:01:22 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 468+ views
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This month's trial of former state Sen. John Ford on corruption charges could last up to a month. Ford is accused of taking $800,000 in consultant payments from TennCare contractors to promote those private companies' interests with the state's expanded Medicaid program. Ford was known for his flashy attire when he was a lawmaker. On Monday he was led into court in a dark green jumpsuit with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was convicted earlier this year of taking $55,000 in bribes during the unrelated federal Tennessee Waltz investigation and is serving a 5 1/2...
  • IRS After John Ford

    06/06/2008 1:04:31 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 288+ views
    WREG-3 (CBS-Memphis) ^ | 6/6/8 | George Brown
    News Channel 3 has confirmed the Internal Revenue Service is after former Senator and current prisoner, John Ford. The IRS says Ford owes more than 220,000 in unpaid federal income taxes. The IRS would not comment on specifics but did say the taxes are from 2003, 2004 and 2005. Ford is currently in a federal prison on bribery charges prosecuted under Operation Tennessee Waltz. Ford is serving 5 years in prison. A June 24 trial is set for Ford in Nashville on allegations he took $800,000 in illegal payments.
  • John Ford-backed law lets doctor practice

    06/01/2008 6:55:24 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 362+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 6/1/8 | Marc Perrusquia
    A psychologist raised in Frayser and trained in South America, Morgan had been rejected twice by the state's psychology licensing board because of his academic record. But Morgan found a powerful ally in then-state Sen. John Ford, who pushed through legislation that forced regulators to hand Morgan a license to practice, according to an examination by The Commercial Appeal. That carefully tailored 1998 law has privately troubled psychology professionals for years yet remained unknown to the larger public. The newspaper uncovered the matter following Morgan's indictment last month. Federal prosecutors contend Morgan offered Ford money in 2005 for legislation that...
  • Federal jury acquits Ford in bribery case { Edmund Ford }

    05/21/2008 3:28:48 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 299+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 5/21/8 | Lawrence Buser
    A federal court jury this afternoon acquitted former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Jr. on charges of taking bribes in 2006 in return for his vote and influence on a development and billboard project. The jury of seven women and five men returned its verdict at about 4 p.m. after deliberating the better portion of two days. As a smiling Ford walked out of the federal court room, he said in a loud voice, “My Lord, the Savior is awesome. He is awesome. I just love my Lord.” Ford, 52, a mortician, was indicted on three counts of extortion...
  • Jury to begin deliberbations in Ford case this afternoon { Edmund Ford }

    05/20/2008 1:19:04 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 200+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 5/20/8 | Lawrence Buser
    A federal court jury is scheduled to begin deliberations this afternoon in the extortion and bribery trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. Federal prosecutors say the 52-year-old mortician accepted $8,900 in bribes from a political consultant in 2006 for his votes and influence in a development project, removal of a city billboard moratorium and the replacement of the chairman of the Board of Adjustment. “Each of these payments was made for official acts,” federal prosecutor Tom Colthurst told jurors as he showed secretly recorded videos of consultant Joe Cooper giving cash to Ford. “You also see...
  • Tapes reveal payoffs to Edmund Ford - So 'Godfather' could 'work your magic'

    05/15/2008 7:58:17 AM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 244+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 5/16/8 | Lawrence Buser
    Wearing a button-sized hidden camera in his shirt and a recorder taped to his waist, political consultant Joe Cooper passed $100 bills to then-city councilman Edmund Ford Sr. in 2006 while seeking approval for a development project. On the tapes presented Wednesday to a federal court jury, Cooper refers to Ford as "the Godfather" and "the master" and encourages him to "work your magic and just make sure it happens." Testifying as the government's key witness in Ford's extortion and bribery trial, Cooper explained how he regularly got such issues approved by the council for well-heeled developers who employed him....
  • Edmund Ford's trial set to start - Former city councilman accused of corruption

    05/12/2008 7:38:09 AM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies · 181+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 5/12/8 | Lawrence Buser
    The FBI called it Operation Main Street Sweeper, a relatively short undercover investigation that yielded several indictments, three guilty pleas to date and one memorable quote. After allegedly accepting a $1,900 bribe in 2006 to line up votes to repeal a billboard moratorium, then-City Councilman Edmund Ford Sr. pocketed the money and confidently declared on a secretly recorded videotape: "I'll drum up seven or make somebody walk out." The strength of the government's case against Ford will be tested this week in a trial before U.S. Dist. Court Judge Samuel Mays Jr. Jury selection from a pool of 105 citizens...
  • Confederacy of Dunces

    05/07/2008 3:48:04 PM PDT · by SmithL · 16 replies · 100+ views
    . . .See no evil -- House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh has found the perfect solution to the legislature’s sleazy ethics. He’s covering his eyes.On the day former Sen. John Ford entered federal prison for taking bribes in the “Tennessee Waltz” scandal, House Democrats killed a bill to revoke state health insurance benefits for lawmakers convicted of felonies involving their office.Sen. Charles Curtiss, the bill’s sponsor, said, “In my mind, we ought to be held to a higher standard.” But apparently not in Naifeh’s mind.Later, the mighty speaker dismissed the possibility that killing the bill hurts Democrats’ public image. He didn’t...
  • {Former state senator John} Ford assigned to dorm maintenance

    04/29/2008 1:18:20 PM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies · 214+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/29/8 | Lawrence Buser
    Former state senator John Ford was assigned to maintenance duty today at the federal prison in Louisiana where he is serving a 5-year prison sentence for bribery. “He will be temporarily assigned to assist the dorm orderlies with sanitation in the dorms,” said Karen Million, spokesman for the Federal Prison Camp at Pollock, La. “After we have a chance to assess his skills, we may assign him to a different job assignment.” Ford, 65, who reported to the camp Monday afternoon, was convicted last year of taking $55,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents in the Tennessee Waltz investigation into...
  • Ex.-Sen. Ford reports to prison camp

    04/29/2008 7:42:35 AM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 260+ views
    AP via KnoxNews ^ | 4/29/8 | WOODY BAIRD, Associated Press
    5 1/2-year sentence is result of bribes taken in Tennessee Waltz sting - MEMPHIS - The Rolex watches, fancy suits and plush hotels are all things of the past for former state Sen. John Ford.Ford, 65, reported Monday to a federal prison camp in Louisiana to begin a 5 1/2-year sentence for taking $55,000 in bribes during the FBI's statewide corruption sting called Tennessee Waltz.Once one of the state's most powerful lawmakers, Ford was known as a flashy dresser with a taste for fine dining and expensive hotels.At the prison camp, he will have half of a double bunk in...
  • {TN Waltz - John} Ford enters federal prison in Louisiana

    04/28/2008 12:10:14 PM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 271+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/28/8 | Lawrence Buser
    Former state senator John Ford entered the federal prison camp at Pollock, La., at 1:40 p.m. today. Ford, who was convicted last year of accepting $55,000 in bribes as a state legislator, is serving a 5-year at the prison, which is about 400 miles from Memphis. Prison spokesman Karen Million said Ford, prisoner No. 20286-076, will receive an orientation and a medical screening today and will be given a work assignment on Tuesday. Ford was convicted as part of an FBI undercover sting dubbed Operation Tennessee Waltz. He is the 10th defendant to be sent to prison. Two others received...
  • John Ford Headed to Prison {for TN Waltz corruption conviction}

    04/28/2008 10:09:20 AM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies · 312+ views
    MEMPHIS, TN - Former State Senator John Ford is scheduled to report to federal prison in Pollock, Louisiana on Monday, April 28, 2008. Ford was convicted in April 2007 on bribery charges; he took more than $55,000 to influence votes in the Tennessee legislature. Ford was indicted during an FBI undercover operation, "Operation Tennessee Waltz," which worked to expose public corruption. The United States Penitentiary in Pollock is a high-security facility in central Louisiana, which houses male offender. A satellite prison camp located next to the main facility houses minimum security offenders. The prison is surrounded by the Kisatchie National...
  • Ford tree: Dying or evergreen?

    04/28/2008 7:54:37 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 170+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/27/8 | Blake Fontenay
    Its political ranks have thinned, but is there a new crop ahead? In videotaped evidence played at his Tennessee Waltz corruption trial, former state senator John Ford once bragged that he was "the man who makes the deals." For many years, he was also the public face of the Ford family to many Mid-Southerners, a larger-than-life character who had the political skills to back up his overbearing personality. With John Ford scheduled to report to prison Monday, he'll be leaving behind a family facing uncertain political prospects. Harold Ford Sr. and Harold Ford Jr., who represented Tennessee's Ninth Congressional District...
  • Closing the book on the Tennessee Waltz

    04/11/2008 10:05:53 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 51+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/11/8 | Editor
    Corruption probe triggered what may turn out to be substantial change in the political culture - The last strains of the Tennessee Waltz public corruption investigation played here this week with the sentencing of Michael Hooks Jr. for his role in a bogus invoice scam in the Juvenile Court Clerk's Office. Hooks, who drew 30 days in federal prison, was the 12th and final Waltz defendant to learn what medicine he would have to take after tasting the toxic brew that state and local politics had become. The wrap-up of the Tennessee Waltz case should serve as a transition to...
  • { Memphis Fords } Harold Sr., Jr. speak out against family members

    04/06/2008 4:43:39 PM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 198+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/6/8 | Pamela Perkins
    Reject racially tinged remarks about Cohen by other Fords - Harold Ford Sr. and Harold Ford Jr. on Saturday rejected racially charged remarks made last week by family members Jake and Isaac Ford. Jake Ford, who is trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the Ninth Congressional District, filed Thursday to run again for the seat as an independent. In 2006, he ran and lost to Cohen. In remarks published Friday in The Commercial Appeal, Jake Ford blasted Cohen, who is white, and said Tennessee deserves to have at least one black congressman. Democrats Ford Sr. and Ford...
  • Race question back for Cohen -- Challenger Jake Ford: Black person should represent district

    04/04/2008 7:52:13 AM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies · 266+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/4/8 | Alex Doniach
    U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has said he thinks the 9th Congressional District has gotten beyond race in electing its representatives. But independent candidate Jake Ford seemed intent on proving him wrong Thursday. He kicked off the congressional campaign by blasting Cohen, who is white, and saying Tennessee deserves to have at least one black congressman. Still hot from his loss to Cohen in 2006, Ford, younger brother of former congressman Harold Ford Jr., also railed against the news media -- specifically The Commercial Appeal -- for not giving him, or his record, a fair shake in the last election. "This...
  • Politics Today: Ford Jr. would be viable Clinton running mate {Call me, Harold }

    03/17/2008 11:32:53 AM PDT · by SmithL · 64 replies · 812+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 3/17/8 | Blake Fontenay
    After last week's developments on the campaign trail, it seems highly unlikely that Barack Obama would agree to be Hillary Clinton's vice presidential running mate. But would Harold Ford Jr.? Several days ago, Clinton's campaign floated the idea of selecting Obama as her running mate as a way of keeping Democrats unified in the November election. Obama shot that idea down the day before his win last week in the Mississippi primary. So if Clinton were to win the nomination, where else might she turn to find a running mate who could appeal to Obama's supporters, who include large numbers...
  • Two new DUI cases for Mitchell-Ford

    03/07/2008 7:54:08 AM PST · by SmithL · 64+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 3/7/8 | Lawrence Buser
    Tamara Mitchell-Ford, who is serving a drunken driving jail sentence in Collierville, was indicted Thursday on two more drunken-driving cases. The 43-year-old ex-wife of former state senator John Ford picked up the cases before she was ordered in November to begin serving 11 months and 27 days for violating her probation on a DUI case from February of last year. In anticipation of the indictments, her attorney, Juni Ganguli, said recently a tentative plea agreement with prosecutors called for Mitchell-Ford to plead guilty to both new DUIs and to be given concurrent sentences of 11 months and 29 days in...
  • John Ford goes to prison in 60 days {for TN Waltz conviction}

    02/28/2008 3:38:41 PM PST · by SmithL · 17 replies · 160+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 2/28/8 | Lawrence Buser
    John Ford must report to prison in 60 days, U.S. District Court Judge J. Daniel Breen decided this morning. Ford, 65, has been assigned to a federal lockup near El Paso, Texas. Ford, who was sentenced to 5 years in prison for taking $55,000 in bribes as a legislator, looked grim as Breen announced his decision. “Mr. Ford just said ‘Let’s move forward on the appeal,’ ” said his court-appointed appellate attorney, Robert Brooks. “He’s a very practical man. He understands life and its ups and downs.” On Wednesday, Ford argued he needed to delay his imprisonment because he needed...
  • { Ford cohort, and former Memphis City Council member Rickey} Peete to report to prison Jan. 3

    12/17/2007 8:10:20 PM PST · by SmithL · 4 replies · 62+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 12/17/7 | Lawrence Buser
    Former Memphis City Council member Rickey Peete has been ordered to report to federal prison on Jan. 3 to begin serving a 51-month sentence for accepting $12,000 in bribes for his vote on a zoning issue. Peete, 52, pleaded guilty to the federal charges in June, his second conviction for selling his votes. He was ordered Monday to report next month to the Federal Prison Camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. He will join former County Commissioner Michael Hooks who began serving a 26-month sentence there last summer for accepting $26,200 in bribes from informants or FBI...
  • Rickey Peete sentenced to 51 months {Ford cohort in Memphis}

    11/14/2007 10:38:53 AM PST · by SmithL · 15 replies · 175+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/14/7 | Lawrence Buser
    Former Memphis City Council member Rickey Peete was sentenced to 51 months in prison this morning in federal court, marking the second time he will be doing time for a bribery conviction. The 52-year-old Peete pleaded guilty in June to accepting $12,400 in bribes for his vote on a zoning issue last year. Under a plea agreement, federal prosecutors recommended that Peete be sentenced to between 41 and 51 months in today’s appearance before U.S. Dist. Court Judge Samuel Mays Jr. Peete and fellow councilman Edmund Ford were indicted in December on charges that they accepted a combined $18,900 in...
  • Mitchell-Ford will remain behind bars pending DUI cases

    11/02/2007 1:20:28 PM PDT · by SmithL · 14 replies · 90+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/2/7 | Lawrence Buser
    Tamara Mitchell-Ford will remain in jail while two pending DUI cases and other related charges work their way through the courts, her attorney announced in court this morning. Mitchell-Ford, 43, will not try to make her $50,000 bond and instead waived six pending cases to the Shelby County Grand Jury. She also has a pending DUI case in Collierville where she has a Nov. 15 hearing on a violation of probation charge. She was one probation for 11 months and 27 days following a guilty plea to a DUI arrest there in February. One standard condition of probation is to...
  • Judge postpones John Ford trial to next year

    10/19/2007 12:42:18 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies · 69+ views
    AP via Commercial Appeal ^ | 10/19/7 | Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
    NASHVILLE — A federal judge today agreed to postpone the latest trial of former state Sen. John Ford until March to give his defense more time to pore over thousands of documents. Ford is accused of taking $800,000 in consultant payments from private contractors with TennCare while using his position as a state senator to promote those contractors’ interests. The Memphis Democrat’s attorney, Isaiah Gant, said he did not have enough time to review thousands of pages of legislative history in time for the trial that had been scheduled to begin early next month. U.S. District Todd J. Campbell agreed...
  • Judge refuses to unseal John Ford wiretap records - Denies request from The Commercial Appeal

    10/16/2007 2:59:52 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 110+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 10/16/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    NASHVILLE – A federal judge today rejected this newspaper’s motion to unseal records related to an FBI wiretap placed on then-state senator John Ford’s phone in 2005. In rejecting the request by The Commercial Appeal, U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell said he must balance a range of conflicting interests, including Ford’s right to a fair trial. The Memphis Democrat is set to stand trial here Nov. 6 on six public corruption charges. “There’s a whole witches’ brew of things that have to be balanced,’’ Campbell said. The judge said he also weighed the public’s right to open courts and privacy...
  • John Ford fails to block secret recordings

    10/10/2007 7:36:49 AM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies · 443+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 10/10/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    Judge rules government wiretaps in Waltz sting can be used in Nashville trial -- Former state senator John Ford lost a round Tuesday in Nashville where he's fighting federal corruption charges. A judge rejected Ford's motion to suppress wiretap evidence, giving a green light to prosecutors to use secret recordings of the Memphis Democrat's phone calls at his trial next month. U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell dismissed arguments by Ford's lawyer that the government improperly used a wiretap in its Memphis-based Tennessee Waltz sting to build a separate criminal case against Ford in Nashville. In the Waltz sting, Ford, 65,...
  • Former Ford home set for auction today {John Ford }

    10/09/2007 7:31:16 AM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 367+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 10/9/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    Foreclosure sale on East Memphis house now owned by his ex-wife -- Few things stir as much passion or evoke more sentimentality over the American Dream as a home. So when this two-story brick home goes on the auction block this morning, it will not only shatter one homeowner's personal dream but also deliver a wrecking ball to a Memphis political icon -- former state senator John Ford. Ford's former East Memphis home, now held exclusively by his ex-wife, is in foreclosure and is set to be sold to the highest bidder at 11 a.m. on the steps of the...
  • {Harold} Ford Sr.'s vote raises questions on residency

    10/03/2007 7:25:09 AM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 285+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 10/3/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    Former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Sr. is among 74,296 people who voted early in the Memphis municipal election. The longtime don-at-large of Memphis' most powerful political family, Ford was in Memphis Sept. 27 to cast his ballot at the Pyramid Recovery Center. But owing to legal declarations Ford has made to the state of Florida, his eligibility to vote in Memphis is questionable. Tennessee law requires voters to keep their permanent residence in the state, and according to state law, voters here can only have one permanent residence. That's a problem for Ford, who this year took advantage of a...
  • Judge delays John Ford's report to prison - Hearing set for Nov. 28

    10/01/2007 11:07:38 AM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies · 123+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 10/1/7 | Lawrence Buser
    John Ford will not have to report to prison on Oct. 17 as scheduled. The former state senator was granted additional time this morning for his appellate attorney to obtain and review several thousand pages of transcripts from his bribery trial. Ford, 65, who was convicted in April of taking $55,00 in bribes as a state legislator, was sentenced last month to 5 ½ years to be served in a federal prison near El Paso, Texas. U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen, however, continued the report date and set a hearing for Nov. 28 to determine whether he Ford...
  • Harold Ford Sr. warned brother John about taking payments from TennCare contractor

    09/27/2007 2:34:50 PM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 206+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 9/27/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    NASHVILLE — Days after news broke in 2005 that then-state Sen. John Ford was taking huge payments from a state contractor, his brother warned him he could be facing criminal charges, according to wiretap evidence released today in federal court here. Former congressman Harold Ford Sr. told John Ford as federal agents listened in on a Feb. 14, 2005, phone call that once a grand jury begins looking at the payments from a TennCare contractor, “it’s all over.’’ “I mean that TennCare thing got to be the most explosive thing in the world,’’ Harold Ford told his brother. “... I...
  • Ford set to report to Texas prison Oct. 17

    09/19/2007 12:34:59 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 442+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 9/19/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    Former state senator John Ford, who was convicted of bribery last month, has been ordered to report Oct. 17 to the federal prison in Anthony, Texas. The order of surrender was issued this week, a month after U.S. Dist. Judge J. Daniel Breen had sentenced Ford to 66 months. With good behavior, he could get out in about four and a half years. Yet Ford, 65, a savvy Memphis Democrat who dominated the city’s legislative delegation for three decades, has one more card to play. Ford faces an Oct. 1 hearing, when he will ask to remain free while he...
  • District 6 draws 11 seeking Ford seat -- Political novices, perennial candidates pursue vacancy

    09/08/2007 2:45:44 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 224+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 9/8/7 | Cindy Wolff
    While some Memphis City Council races are thinly populated with two or three candidates, voters in District 6 will choose from among 11. There's a new Ford Jr. in the arena this year, but not a Harold. This is Edmund Ford's son who is vying for his father's seat on the council. Four other candidates have run for political office, several in past races for this seat. Eight of the candidates responded to a questionnaire submitted by The Commercial Appeal. District 6 includes Southwest Memphis and parts of Whitehaven, South Memphis and Downtown. Residents are worried about abandoned houses, high...
  • Democratic party, Ford are keeping cash from fraud figure {Who's Hsu}

    09/04/2007 12:57:15 PM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies · 460+ views
    Knoxville News Sentinel ^ | 9/4/7 | Tom Humphrey
    NASHVILLE — While some national Democratic figures are getting rid of contributions collected from Norman Hsu, the Tennessee Democratic party and Harold Ford Jr. have no such plans. Hsu, who a major donor and fundraiser Democratic causes, was jailed last week in California on fraud charges dating back almost 15 years. The Tennessee Democratic party received $58,000 from Hsu last year — $38,000 to the party’s fund for state campaigns and $20,000 to the party’s fund for federal campaigns. Ford received $14,700 in three contributions during 2005 and 2006. Other Democrats, including presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have...
  • Ford family has long flexed political clout in Memphis

    08/29/2007 1:49:01 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 1,114+ views
    Nashville Tennessean | 8/29/7 | BONNA JOHNSON
    Ford family has long flexed political clout in Memphis
  • {John} Ford departs court with 5 1/2-year jail term

    08/29/2007 7:53:10 AM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies · 651+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/29/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    "When I do quit, I'm going to go out on top. And I guarantee you when I leave the Senate, the Senate will not be the same and everybody in the Senate will know that.'' -- State Sen. John Ford, 1994 It didn't end quite the way John Ford had expected. The former state senator emerged from the federal courthouse Tuesday in Downtown Memphis a beaten man. Sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for taking bribes, the once-mighty Memphis Democrat appeared shaken and frail. The self-proclaimed "Man Who Makes the Deals,'' the in-your-face head of the Ford political...
  • Emotional Ford asks for leniency, says children need him {Harold's uncle, John}

    08/27/2007 7:41:50 PM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies · 685+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/27/7 | Lawrence Buser
    John Ford made an emotional plea to a federal judge for leniency this afternoon in a sentencing hearing for his bribery conviction. The hearing adjourned at 6:20 p.m. after almost four hours of arguments by attorneys and testimony from character witnesses, including state legislators, community leaders and family members. The hearing will resume tomorrow morning, when U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen will sentence Ford, a once-powerful legislator who now has thrown himself on the mercy of the court. "I talk too much," the 65-year-old Ford told the judge, gripping a podium. "That's been a problem, but it's in...
  • Long road led to Ford's judgment

    08/27/2007 7:32:23 AM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 536+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/27/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    She knew this day would come, when her notorious ex-husband would stand before a judge and face the cold bars of prison. Convicted of bribery, former state senator John Ford could get up to 10 years in a federal penitentiary when he's sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen. Still, it comes as a shock to Tamara Mitchell-Ford, who married her mercurial husband at the height of his success. "You had a man in a position of power that abused it,'' said Mitchell-Ford. John Ford was power personified. The very name chilled backs and tightened guts in...
  • { Edmund } Ford drops lawsuit against landlord, agrees to leave

    08/07/2007 12:53:08 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 452+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/7/7 | Lawrence Buser
    Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford agreed this morning to drop a lawsuit seeking to force his funeral home landlord to sign a sales agreement. Ford also agreed to leave the property on Elvis Presley Boulevard in 45 days. Attorney Handel Durham, who represents Ford, said his client will seek a new location for the E. H. Ford Mortuary Services he has operated the past 12 years, including the last three at the present location. The settlement with landlord Dennis Churchwell was announced in Chancery Court where a hearing was to be held before Chancellor Kenny Armstrong. "He’s not out of...
  • Ex-wife of Ford also wants his Rolex

    08/06/2007 7:32:21 AM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 908+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/6/7 | Jody Callahan
    First, John Ford wore the $70,000 Rolex watch, showing off the diamond-encrusted timepiece to his friends, including one undercover federal agent. Then the feds took possession of the watch and are now hoping to keep it, claiming the Rolex was an "ill-gotten gain" received through criminal activities. Now, add another person to the list of people who covet the watch. Ford's ex-wife said Sunday that she plans to sue to keep the watch, claiming her ex-husband promised the Rolex three years ago in lieu of child-support payments. "When it comes down to that watch, I want to know how somebody...
  • Government wants to keep John Ford’s diamond Rolex

    08/03/2007 12:39:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 16 replies · 719+ views
    MEMPHIS — Federal prosecutors are trying to keep a diamond-studded Rolex wristwatch seized from former Sen. John Ford before he was convicted of bribery in the Tennessee Waltz corruption investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court that Ford got the watch valued at $70,000 from a Memphis developer through bribery and it should be forfeited to the government. The Rolex “constitutes or is derived from proceeds of an offense constituting ’specified unlawful activity’ ... or a conspiracy to commit such an offense, specifically bribery,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher E. Cotten wrote in the...