Skip to comments.Prosecutors asking judge to jail Ford
Posted on 05/31/2005 3:29:18 PM PDT by SmithL
MEMPHIS Prosecutors prepared to ask a federal judge today to send former state Sen. John Ford back to jail to await trial on public corruption charges.
Ford, a Memphis Democrat, was placed on house arrest Friday after a federal magistrate released him from custody on a $20,000 bond.
Prosecutors appealed that decision to U.S. District Judge Daniel Breen.
Breen could uphold the magistrate's ruling, modify it or send Ford back to jail to await a trail that could be months away.
Prosecutors contend Ford has threatened to kill government witnesses and is a public danger.
Ford, who was a senator when he arrested and resigned his seat Saturday, is charged with taking $55,000 in payoffs from undercover agents during a government sting called "Tennessee Waltz."
The FBI set up a bogus electronics company named E-Cycle Management Inc. that sought state legislation favorable to the company. Ford, three legislators and a former lawmaker are charged with taking payoffs to help the company.
Ford also is charged with threatening potential witnesses. His co-defendants have been freed without bond to await trial.
At a court hearing Friday requested by the government, prosecutors played a video they described as showing Ford taking a bribe from an FBI agent. On the video, Ford and a man with his back to the camera sit on opposite sides of a desk as the agent counts out $10,000 in $100 bills.
The government says Ford made several threats when he began to grow suspicious of E-Cycle and its representatives.
On one scratchy audiotape the government says was made by an informant, a man identified as Ford talks about FBI "shell companies."
He warns the informant not to work against him, adding, "I got a gun. I'll just shoot you dead."
An FBI agent who met with Ford at a later date filed a report quoting him as saying "if he caught someone trying to set him up, he would shoot that person, kill them, so that there would be no witnesses."
Defense attorney Michael Scholl contends Ford was joking with people he though were his friends and intended no serious threats.
Also charged are Democratic Sens. Kathryn Bowers and Ward Crutchfield, Republican Rep. Chris Newton and former state Sen. Roscoe Dixon, a Democrat.
Charged, too, are Charles Love, a lobbyist from Chattanooga, and Barry Myers, a Memphis resident. They are described by the government as "bagmen" for the payoffs.
Oh wait, yes he did. Nevermind.
How ironic........Like getting stung makes him more or less dangerous to the public. I'd say he should have been locked up ten years ago for the public's safety.
Hmmm..I wonder what would have happened if someone had threatened HIM!!
He should be treated the same as any other citizen who made death threats against potential witnesses. Jailed without bond until trial.
Sadly, the double standard for politicians will reign supreme.
1st mistake. This man is on house arrest. Why isn't he in real jail?
And he is related to Rep. Harold Ford? yes? Harold Ford will be running for US Senate soon.
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