Keyword: tnwaltz

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  • 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...
  • Some Tennessee Waltz defendants already free from prison

    07/05/2008 5:05:29 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 196+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 7/5/8 | Lawrence Buser
    Feds not yet ready to call probe finished - The long-running undercover FBI investigation known as Tennessee Waltz resulted in trials that took up much of the last few years. While the last convicted official recently began serving time, others already have been released or finished their probation. Former state senator John Ford, who has the longest sentence, is not expected to be released until 2013. Spawned from a 2002 low-level scandal in the Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk's office, the case snowballed into a statewide public corruption probe that eventually led to criminal charges filed against a dozen elected...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Hooks Jr. to report to prison May 15 {Started TN Waltz corruption investigation}

    04/30/2008 1:03:13 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 145+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/30/8 | Lawrence Buser
    Michael Hooks Jr. has been ordered to report to a federal prison facility in Mississippi in two weeks to serve his 30-day sentence for fraud. Hooks, 33, pleaded guilty in January to accepting $1,500 in fees for consulting work at Juvenile Court in 2001 for work he did not do. The small-scale scam led to a wide-reaching public corruption investigation dubbed the Tennessee Waltz that resulted in convictions of nearly a dozen elected officials going to prison. Among them was his father, Michael Hooks Sr., a former Shelby County commissioner who is serving a 26-month federal prison sentence in Alabama...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • { Convicted in TN Waltz sting, John} Ford to be imprisoned closer to home

    03/28/2008 7:51:21 AM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 860+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 3/28/8 | Bartholomew Sullivan
    Cohen intervenes to request change of prison from Texas to Louisiana -- WASHINGTON -- Former state senator John Ford is going to the big house next month, but after the intervention of U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, it will be much closer to Memphis. Cohen confirmed Thursday that his office made a request to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to look into changing Ford's incarceration from a minimum-security federal-prison camp at La Tuna, Texas, to a similar facility in central Louisiana. Ford, 65, is to surrender to federal authorities next month to begin serving a 5 1/2-year sentence after his conviction...
  • 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...
  • {Convicted in TN Waltz, John} Ford banks on parental duties to keep him out of prison

    02/27/2008 12:44:08 PM PST · by SmithL · 9 replies · 221+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 2/27/8 | Lawrence Buser
    John Ford fought federal prosecutors to a standoff this morning and will avoid prison for at least one more day. U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen ordered Ford’s attorney to find out when Ford’s ex-wife Tamara Mitchell Ford will be released from a DUI sentence she is serving in Collierville. Breen will continue the hearing at 9 Thursday morning. The former state senator was sentenced last August to serve five and one-half years in prison for bribery, but has remained free because he says there will be no one else to care for his four children if both parents...
  • Bowers gets 16 months in prison in Tennessee Waltz case

    02/15/2008 7:56:39 AM PST · by SmithL · 10 replies · 98+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 2/15/8 | Jody Callahan
    Former state senator Kathryn Bowers was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison on Thursday for accepting $11,500 in bribes. Bowers will also be subject to two years of supervised release, although no fine was assessed. She will report to prison at an undetermined date. Bowers, 64, read a brief statement before U.S. Dist. Judge J. Daniel Breen in which she called her crime a "very, very, very bad decision." "I ask for forgiveness of my bad decisions of receiving money in an inappropriate manner," her statement read. "I am indeed sorry. If I had it to do over again,...
  • Judge gives Ford reprieve till Feb. 27

    11/28/2007 7:58:32 PM PST · by SmithL · 10 replies · 53+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/28/7 | Lawrence Buser
    John Ford will be home for Christmas. The former state senator, who was scheduled to report to a federal prison Dec. 12, was granted a delay until at least Feb. 27 by U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen in serving his 66-month prison sentence for bribery. Ford's attorney argued that reporting to prison near El Paso, Texas, would create a hardship in preparing for a March 4 bribery trial in Nashville. He also said Ford is the custodial parent and sole provider for his four minor children - ages 2 to 15 - while his ex-wife, Tamara Mitchell-Ford, is...
  • {John} Ford asking to put off going to prison

    11/28/2007 12:49:58 PM PST · by SmithL · 21 replies · 49+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/28/7 | Lawrence Buser
    John Ford will ask a federal judge today to delay serving his 66-month prison sentence for bribery until either after his Nashville trial is completed next year or until his ex-wife is released from jail where she is serving a drunken-driving sentence. The former state senator is scheduled to report Dec. 12 to a federal prison facility near El Paso, Texas, but he said that would create a hardship in preparing for his March 4 bribery trial in Nashville. Ford, in papers filed in federal court, also said he is the custodial parent and sole provider for his four minor...
  • Democrat will replace former state senator convicted in Waltz sting

    11/16/2007 7:33:48 AM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies · 34+ views
    CHATTANOOGA — Democrat Andy Berke won a special election Thursday to replace former state Sen. Ward Crutchfield, who resigned from the General Assembly earlier this year after pleading guilty to a federal bribery charge in the Tennessee Waltz corruption sting. According to unofficial results with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Berke, an attorney, had 9,790 votes to 5,747 votes for businessman Oscar Brock, a Republican and son of former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock. The results, 63 percent to 37 percent, leave the makeup of the state Senate unchanged: 16 Republicans, 16 Democrats and one independent, Mike Williams of Maynardville....
  • {Former TN Senator, John} Ford is pushed over papers -- Dental firm chief's ex-wife seeks assets

    11/10/2007 8:29:06 PM PST · by SmithL · 5 replies · 79+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/10/7 | Lawrence Buser
    A Wisconsin woman who is suing the dental firm that allegedly paid John Ford kickbacks to obtain a lucrative TennCare contract is seeking more than 22,000 pages of legal documents from the former state senator. Marie Kasten, whose ex-husband was the head of Doral Dental USA, asked a Shelby County Circuit Court this week to find Ford in contempt for not turning over the documents relating to Ford's dealings with Doral. Doral won a multi-million-dollar contract to provide dental services to poor children under Tennessee's Medicaid program known as TennCare. In a six-count federal indictment in Nashville, Ford is accused...
  • Crutchfield sentencing delayed {TN Waltz}

    11/06/2007 10:35:38 AM PST · by SmithL · 35+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 11/6/7 | Lawrence Buser
    A sentencing hearing for longtime Democratic lawmaker Ward Crutchfield of Chattanooga has been reset to Jan. 17 while his attorneys gather more medical information that could affect his bribery sentence. Crutchfield, 78, who was to be sentenced here later this month, was among a dozen elected state or local officials or their aides indicted in the FBI’s Tennessee Waltz undercover investigation into public corruption. He was charged with taking a share of $12,000 in bribes in return for his legislative influence. Crutchfield pleaded guilty in July to one count involving a $3,000 cash payment from an undercover FBI agent in...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Former Sen. Ward Crutchfield disbarred by state Supreme Court {TN Waltz}

    08/30/2007 8:37:12 AM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies · 572+ views
    NASHVILLE - Attorney and former Sen. Ward Crutchfield, who pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge last month, won't be practicing anytime soon in Tennessee after being formally disbarred by the state Supreme Court. In the order issued Monday, Justice Janice M. Holder wrote that the 78-year-old Chattanooga Democrat "has consented to disbarment because he cannot successfully defend himself against the charges under investigation and has discontinued the practice of law." Under court rules, Crutchfield can apply for reinstatement in five years, but Jones wrote he would have to "prove by clear and convincing evidence" that he has the moral...
  • Ford works angles on appeal - Asks taxpayers to fund costs of trial transcripts

    08/30/2007 7:49:31 AM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 287+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/30/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    A day after he was sentenced to 51/2 years in prison, former state senator John Ford and his newly appointed attorney were already working on an appeal. Ford asked a judge Wednesday to order taxpayers to finance copies of trial transcripts needed for his expected appeal -- a request that could cost $8,000 or more. The filing seeks a speedy production of the transcripts and signals that Ford will ask for a seldom-granted bond that would keep him out of prison until the appeal is resolved. "Every case is different,'' said Ford's new attorney, Robert C. Brooks, sizing up his...
  • {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...
  • John Ford sentenced to 66 months in prison

    08/28/2007 8:59:59 AM PDT · by SmithL · 39 replies · 1,635+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/28/7 | Lawrence Buser
    Judge not convinced Ford truly believes he did anything wrong - John Ford was sentenced to 66 months in prison this morning for his April conviction of accepting $55,000 in bribes in the FBI's Tennessee Waltz public corruption investigation. U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen carefully noted his interpretation of advisory federal guidelines that suggest enhanced punishment for factors such as the amount and number of bribes, threatening witnesses, acceptance of responsibility and the fact that Ford was an elected official. The judge said he was not convinced that Ford truly believes he did anything wrong and that the...
  • 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...
  • {Former State Senator, John} Ford a good person, deserves leniency, character witnesses say

    08/27/2007 4:15:18 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies · 461+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 8/27/7 | Lawrence Buser
    Character witnesses testifying on John Ford's behalf asked a federal judge this afternoon to show leniency in sentencing the former state senator. Ford, 65, who was convicted in April of taking $55,000 in bribes, faces up to 10 years in prison. His defense says the amount should be no more than a year or two. "He's a fun guy and hard working," said retired state representative Alvin King. "You could depend on John. He was the go-to person. He was an outstanding legislator. He got a lot of things passed." Turning to U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen, King...
  • 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...
  • 4 lawmakers convicted in Waltz sting still collect pension

    08/23/2007 10:01:06 AM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 392+ views
    CHATTANOOGA — Four of five lawmakers convicted in the federal Tennessee Waltz corruption sting will still collect state pensions. They are eligible for the pensions because they joined the state retirement system before the law was changed to strip convicted lawmakers of the benefit. The four former state senators and the amounts of their monthly pensions are: —Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga: $3,500. —John Ford, D-Memphis: $2,700. —Roscoe Dixon, D-Memphis: $1,456. —Kathryn Bowers, D-Memphis: $1,000. The fifth lawmaker convicted in the sting, former Rep. Chris Newton, R-Cleveland, is not eligible for a pension because he joined the system in 1997, four years...
  • 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...
  • Former county aide to serve 33 months { TN Waltz in Memphis }

    05/19/2007 7:47:09 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 440+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 5/19/7 | Lawrence Buser
    An emotional Calvin Williams, once a top aide for the Shelby County Commission, apologized Friday for letting down those who have supported him over the years, but maintained he had done nothing wrong despite his conviction on bribery and extortion charges. U.S. Dist. Court Judge Samuel H. Mays Jr. disagreed, however, and sentenced him to 33 months in prison for accepting a $1,500 bribe to influence a 2002 urban renewal grant application. Advertisement Mays called Williams "a good person who's done a really stupid thing, but the stupid thing is a very serious crime. Mr. Williams made a series of...
  • This isn't ex-senator's state Capitol anymore { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/30/2007 10:30:43 AM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 458+ views
    Commercial Appeal via KnoxNews ^ | 4/30/7 | RICHARD LOCKER, The Commercial Appeal
    NASHVILLE - The state Capitol that John Ford left after his arrest in a nearby hotel on the morning of May 26, 2005, is a different place now than it was during his 31 years in the Senate. His former colleagues agreed that most of the changes are a direct legacy of his troubles with the law. Some lawmakers still flock to nightly receptions at area hotels put on by scores of statewide associations and packed with their members from back home anxious to meet with their representatives. Many of the 517 registered lobbyists still crowd the Capitol corridors trying...
  • Ford convicted on bribery charge; deadlocked on extortion {John Ford - TN Waltz}

    04/27/2007 2:56:49 PM PDT · by SmithL · 31 replies · 990+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/27/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    Following a 13-day trial that included video recordings of former state Sen. John Ford receiving cash payments from an FBI undercover agent, a 12-person jury found the Memphis Democrat guilty on one count of bribery. The jury deadlocked on an extortion charge. He was acquitted of all three charges of intimidation. The bribery charge carries up to 10 years in prison. Using an FBI sham company called E-Cycle Management, which claimed to be in the business of recycling computers, undercover lawmen operating in Tennessee Waltz bribed elected officials to draft, sponsor and change legislation that benefited E-Cycle. He will be...
  • Ford jury goes home without verdict { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/25/2007 9:00:55 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 650+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/25/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    fter more than four hours of deliberation, jurors in former state Sen. John Ford’s public corruption trial went home Wednesday without a verdict. The jury’s brief status conference late Wednesday afternoon with U.S. Dist. Judge J. Daniel Breen indicated the 12 men and women are reviewing the secretly recorded audio and video made during the undercover phase of Tennessee Waltz. During the trial, lawyers for the prosecution and defense presented to the jury the video and audio recordings with an on-screen transcript that moved line by line as they recordings progressed. Advertisement But that is not what jurors were given...
  • Feds torch 'smoke, mirrors' defense { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/25/2007 8:48:21 AM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 697+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/25/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    Beginning closing arguments during the twelfth day of former state Sen. John Ford's public corruption trial, Asst. U.S. Atty. Tim DiScenza assaulted what he characterized as the Memphis Democrat's smoke-and-mirrors defense. "There's a maxim most young lawyers hear," DiScenza told the jury. "When you're defending the case and you've got the law on your side, argue the heck out of the law. And if you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. And if you have neither on your side, accuse the government of misconduct and yell entrapment." Indeed, court proceedings Tuesday revealed defense attorney Michael Scholl vested...
  • Defense rests in Ford trial { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/24/2007 11:18:18 AM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 480+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/24/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    Following an 11-day presentation by federal prosecutors in former state John Ford’s public corruption trial, defense attorney Michael Scholl called only three witnesses and took only four hours to defend his high-profile client. At noon today, the defense rested. Prosecutors have left open the possibility of calling a rebuttal witness. Closing arguments could begin this afternoon. Ford’s witnesses were: - Allan Wade -- The City Council’s attorney, Wade testified that Ford did not say much during a state meeting to discuss an environmental case involving developer Rusty Hyneman. In a secretly recorded FBI video, Ford bragged of receiving an expensive...
  • Ford's defense begins today - Prosecution rests after 10th witness { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/24/2007 7:24:54 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 313+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/24/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    It's his show now. Prosecutors finally rested Monday after two full weeks making a bribery case against him, and John Ford's reaction was a smile. Like a seasoned showman with a sense of suspense, the former state senator wouldn't say if he'll testify when the defense presents its case today. Advertisement "I don't know,'' Ford teased as he emerged from the Clifford Davis Federal Building. "That's tomorrow. We'll get there and see.'' As he climbed from the curb into a waiting car he said with a nod, "I feel good.'' Hard as it may be to tell from his perkiness,...
  • Prosecution rests in Ford trial { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/23/2007 3:22:36 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 476+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/23/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    Eleven days into former state Sen. John Ford’s public corruption trial, Asst. U.S. Attys. Tim DiScenza and Lorraine Craig rested their case Monday afternoon. Having called FBI agents, a controversial federal informant and several state officials to the witness stand, federal prosecutors attempted to prove to the jury that Ford accepted $55,000 in cash bribes for his official action and threatened the life of undercover agent L.C. McNeil and informant Tim Willis when the Memphis Democrat suspected the pair might be working with the government. One of the prosecution’s final witnesses, FBI agent Mark Jackson, presented a multimedia timeline of...
  • Makeup of Ford jury pool analyzed { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/23/2007 12:54:41 PM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 638+ views
    Knoxville News Sentinel ^ | 4/23/7 | MARC PERRUSQUIA
    MEMPHIS - Scribbling notes, they study witnesses and scan the courtroom TV screens playing all those mesmerizing undercover videotapes. They are the jury - six white members, six black - chosen to decide the fate of former state Sen. John Ford, who faces federal bribery charges. Race has been the elephant in the courtroom. A distinct racial divide factored into the jury's selection, which largely was conducted up at the judge's bench outside public hearing. Court records obtained by The Commercial Appeal show that the prosecution and defense were at opposite racial poles when they exercised peremptory challenges - the...
  • FBI agent summarizes case in Ford trial { John Ford - TN Waltz trial }

    04/23/2007 10:26:15 AM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 795+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/23/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    Calling FBI agent Mark Jackson to the witness stand this morning, Asst. U.S. Atty. Tim DiScenza used the lawman as a summary witness to present a timeline that summed up the government’s case against former state Sen. John Ford: April 19, 2004 — FBI undercover agent L.C. McNeil introduces himself to state Sen. John Ford at a dinner in Nashville arranged by state Rep. Kathryn Bowers. July 17, 2004 — In Miami, Ford asks McNeil for $3,000 to $5,000 per month to draft and pass state legislation that would benefit E-Cycle. Ford expresses interest in E-Cycle’s initial public offering. July...
  • Officials:John Ford urged bill changes-He sought to have fiscal note revised, to sham firm's benefit

    04/21/2007 9:43:27 AM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies · 384+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/21/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    Two state officials testified Friday that then-state Sen. John Ford pressured them in 2005 while pushing a bill that prosecutors allege he had filed in return for cash payments. "He said to me that this was good legislation and that I did not know what the hell I was doing,'' state General Services Commissioner Gwendolyn Davis told jurors in Ford's federal bribery trial. Advertisement Davis said Ford told her, "Am I going to have to come up there and run General Services for you?'' The legislation Davis referred to -- Senate Bill 94 -- is at the center of bribery...
  • FBI Snitch: Ford Boasted of Guns in Desk

    04/19/2007 8:47:04 PM PDT · by jdm · 2 replies · 548+ views
    AP via Forbes ^ | April 19, 2007 | Woody Baird
    An FBI informant who accuses a former state senator at the center of a public corruption investigation of threatening to shoot him testified Thursday that the lawmaker boasted about keeping two pistols in his desk. Informant Tim Willis said he considered former state Sen. John Ford a friend and visited him often at his offices in Memphis and Nashville. He said Ford told him he kept firearms in his Memphis office in case anyone tried to attack him. "He could shoot them from right under the desk ... hit them in the knees," Willis said in his second day of...
  • Prosecution attacks 'consulting fee' defense{ John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/20/2007 1:37:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 245+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/20/7 | Trevor Aaronson
    Questioning state Senate Chief Clerk Russell Andrew Humphrey this morning, Asst. U.S. Atty. Tim DiScenza used the bureaucrat to help him assault former state Sen. John Ford’s trial defense that cash payments he received were for legitimate consulting work. "Can he receive consulting fees?" DiScenza asked Humphrey. "Senators cannot receive any fees for the performance of official duties under ethics law," Humphrey responded flatly. "Would it change if he called (the payments) by any particular name?" "If it’s compensation, no matter what it’s called, for official duties, it would be a violation of Rule 85 (ethics rule)," Humphrey said. Ford,...
  • Informant says Ford bullied him { John Ford - TN Waltz }

    04/19/2007 7:38:29 AM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 608+ views
    Memphis Commercial Appeal ^ | 4/19/7 | Marc Perrusquia
    Ford asked if witness was helping FBI, said he had a gun - An FBI informant testified Wednesday that John Ford threatened to shoot him if he was part of an undercover operation investigating the then-state senator's affairs. "He said, 'If I find out you're working for the FBI you gonna die right now,'' said Tim Willis, a paid informant who helped launch the FBI's Tennessee Waltz undercover sting. "I wasn't going to let him get behind me,'' Willis told the jury in Ford's federal bribery and witness intimidation trial. "I was going to stay there until he left so...