Skip to comments.Bond set for Sen. Ford at $20,000
Posted on 05/27/2005 3:42:25 PM PDT by SmithL
A federal magistrate set bond for state Sen. John Ford at $20,000, but although hell be free, he wont have much freedom.
Ford faces charges of accepting bribes from a fake FBI compnay, then threatening to shoot potential witnesses against him.
Prosecutors then filed a notice of appeal with U.S. Dist. Judge Daniel Breen, who has offices in Memphis and Jackson, Tenn.
Breen wouldnt grant a stay for prosecutors, instead releasing Ford, who is under house arrest.
Family members gathered in the basement of the federal building let out big cheers and "hallelujahs" at the news that he would be released late Friday afternoon.
On his way out of the federal building Friday afternoon just after 4:30, a reporter asked Ford if he'd have any comment.
"Oh, please," he said.
But Ford must return to Breens courtroom Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., when the judge will hear prosecutors arguments to keep Ford behind bars. They believe hes shown a pattern of violent behavior and threats that make him a risk.
Federal prosecutors argued Frday that Ford should be held without bond because of his past violent behavior and threats to undercover agents.
|Read the Ford transcripts:
Prosecutors appealed Vescovos decision Friday afternoon and asked her to delay Fords release while they made that appeal.
Vescovo denied their request.
Magistrate Diane Vescovo put Ford on house arrest and ordered him to wear an electronic monitoring device.
He cant leave the states western district and can only leave home for work or church.
He can go to Nashville - with court approval - but only to handle business such as appearing before the senates ethics committee, she said.
He must work in his office every day, be home by 5 p.m. and cant leave home before 8 a.m.
He must tell the judge which of his homes he intends to live in, and must hand over his passport.
Any other guns - beyond two loaded handguns TBI agents took from his Memphis office Thursday - must be kept in his attorneys gun safe.
Ford must avoid contact with FBI agents, informants or any other potential witnesses in the Tennessee Waltz case.
During Fridays hearing, Ford presented character witnesses including community activist Georgianna King and attorney Martin Grusin, whos defending him with legal troubles related to TennCare.
Grusin described Ford as an "effective blowhard," saying hes prone to "street talk."
"He talks a lot of times without thinking," the attorney said.
Grusin said Fords income was $360,000 last year, but since hes run into ethics trouble in the Senate, his income "has been reduced drastically."
Contracts hes had have been terminated or canceled, and insurance clients - Ford worked on commission - have dried up, Grusin said.
The judge also ordered that Ford must work - he cant just stay at home.
Federal authorities also played a videotape in court this morning showing state Sen. John Ford receiving $10,000 in $100 bills from an undercover FBI agent posing as representive of a company wanting legislatation passed in Nashville.
FBI Agent Mark Jackson also testified the senator requested stock options from E-Cycle, a fake FBI company created in response to allegations that legislators were open to bribes.
On the video, the FBI agent posing as E-Cycle president Joe Carson counts out the money while Ford sits behind his desk in his Senate office in Nashville.
"I ain't try (sic) to count, I trust you," Ford says on the tape.
Jackson also detailed four threatening phrases, two taped, two not, in which Ford said he would harm witnesses against or anyone who attempted to set him up. In one of the meetings with an informant, not recorded, Ford boasted of having two handguns, Jackson testified.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents seized two loaded guns from Ford's Memphis office Thursday.
Prosecutors are leaning hard on Ford's past criminal past and the threats as a reason for Ford to remain jailed without bond. Ford's attorney argued that the threats -- accompanied by what prosecutors called "nervous laughter" on the tapes -- were made in jest.
In 1997, Ford completed probation after being charged with aggravated assault against five utility workers. In 1991, he was charged with shooting at a trucker who tried to box him in on the highway between Memphis and Nashville. He was acquitted in that case.
The longtime senator hired two private attorneys to handle his case, rather than argue for a court-appointed attorney.
Ford's family sat in the front, middle row in the packed courtroom and most declined comment.
Ophelia Ford, an older sister, said "we haven't had a chance to talk to our brother yet."
Led into the courtroom, his hands and feet shackled, and wearing the same light gray suit he wore Thursday, one family member whispered, "Lord have mercy."
Copyright 2005, commercialappeal.com - Memphis, TN. All Rights Reserved.
Not worry man! You'll be reelected again! Citizens are notorious for forgiving RATS and crucifying republicans. You'll be rewarded just like that dude Barry in DC! Don't worry be happy.....ugh!
Indictments are "resume enhancement" for Dems.
"I" s in their column are like "K" s for a pitcher.
Ever notice that when a Democrat is in trouble the article doesn't mention he is a Democrat...or at least doesn't make it obvious?
When the person in trouble is a Republican, that fact is practically stated in the headline.
It's just about "RACIST HOMOPHOBIC REPUBLICAN OPPRESSOR INDICTED!"
Quote of the year nominee.
I'm sure that Alcee Hastings would be happy to represent Ford during his trial. It is clear that the whole thing is racially motivated, anyway!
He'll just steal the 20 grand someplace and hit the road.
This scumbag is already playing the race card, and he will probably play it up as hard he can .. but I don't see how he is going to weasel out of this one.
"Not worry man! You'll be reelected again! Citizens are notorious for forgiving RATS and crucifying republicans. You'll be rewarded just like that dude Barry in DC! Don't worry be happy.....ugh!"
Just as soon as John Ford is acquitted, the good citizens in his senate district will fete him with a downtown parade, give him a few medals, and promptly reelect him to his rightful seat of power. There isn't a prosecutor in the federal system that can win a case against Ford in a Memphis or West Tennessee courtroom.
The local chapter of the NAACP is already making noises and threatening the race card, and the state's Lt. Governor (Wilder) came out today to declare it is "wrong for cops to offer bribes to legislators." I suppose experience has shown Wilder that the legislators are perfectly capable of seeking out their own payola in exchange for friendly legislation.
The victimization of John Ford, and the tarring and feathering of those wascawee FBI thugs has begun in earnest; you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Just another distinguished member of the democrat party.
I'm sure it's somehow Bush's fault, in fact, he was probably just saving the Constitution.
*********************************************************** Commentary: Sen. John Fords Constituents Should Thank Him for His Service, Then Show Him the Door
Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 By: Tonyaa Weathersbee, BlackAmericaWeb.com
Something that a University of Memphis history professor recently said troubled me. Mostly because I fear hes right.
The professor, Charles Crawford, told the Associated Press that the reason why embattled Tennessee state Sen. John Ford, a Memphis Democrat, may not be tossed out of office by his constituents is because hes the African-American political leader that a lot of white people love to hate, and that makes him a hero in his district.
Some hero he is.
The political legacy that the 62-year-old Ford began building in the 1970s is quickly devolving into the stuff of a Jerry Springer Show episode. During a hearing earlier this year on whether his child support payments should be increased, Ford told a judge that he was responsible for maintaining two households one with his pregnant ex-wife and their three children, and another with a girlfriend and their two children.
And neither one of those women were responsible for Ford being in that hearing. A third woman whom he had impregnated was the one who wanted more money from him.
Sounds to me as if he may be more Mack Daddy than lawmaker.
And the fallout behind Fords peccadilloes is mounting.
Since neither house that Ford keeps with his ex-wife or girlfriend is in his district, the revelation that he travels between them has led to questions as to whether he lives in the area he represents. He is also being investigated on ethics charges for receiving more than $230,000 from a consulting company with financial ties to the states Medicaid program for the poor. He even wrote a law on his own behalf; a law that keeps child support payments lower when a father has to support other children.
But in spite of Fords scandalous behavior and dubious ethics, I can see how he may very well wind up being more victim than villain to the people he represents.
Many times, black people in poor, struggling districts tend to respond to the person who articulates their anger and their frustration over their lives. The economic and social isolation, plus the feelings of victimization by a larger society tend to create a feeling of us versus them.
Because of that, embattled public figures like Ford are viewed as a metaphor for all the evils that dog black people. Many of us tend to automatically defend our celebrities and elected officials, because we see them as one of us. We see the white reporter asking tough questions of people like Ford as attacking the race, not trying to inform us about someone who may not be operating in our best interest.
That makes it easy for politicos like Ford to claim that they are the victim of the white media. But those who are tempted to buy into that excuse need to get a grip. And soon.
Ford is no victim of the media. Hes a victim of his own bad judgment, hubris and lack of control. The media didnt make him go out and create his own harem. He did that. And it didnt make him abuse his power either. He did that.
What also makes Fords situation even worse is that he became involved in politics in the 1970s, during a time when the white power structure was really working hard to discredit and destabilize strong black leaders. So to me, Ford, of all people, should have known better than to fulfill the worse stereotypes that many white people already hold about men like him.
Yet it is a certainty that at some point, Fords personal troubles will become so burdensome that it will limit his effectiveness in office. And his constituents need to consider that.
They shouldnt view this situation in terms of whats black and white, but in terms of whats real. They need to ask themselves whether he is the best they can do. They need to ask themselves whether they are hurting white people many of whom want to brand poor black people as unintelligent anyway or are they hurting themselves if they keep a guy like Ford in office and all his accompanying baby mama drama.
Ford may have done some good things in his time. If so, its time for the people in his district to thank him. And to tell him goodbye
That's "walking around" money for that mobster.
Hmmm. A crooked Democrat and no mention of his party affiliation in the story. Typical liberal news media.
If it were a Republican, it would be John Ford (R-Memphis) was indicted for XYZ.
And it would have been big news in all the MSM TV and print.
The double standard practiced by the hypocrites in the MSM is breathtaking.
I think I stand corrected, it appears as if the RAT was outed in the picture along with the story.
However, if it were a Republican the libs would be advertising it all over the story.
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