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[TN] AG: Ford consulting work inside state
AP ^ | 6/30/5 | LUCAS L. JOHNSON II

Posted on 06/30/2005 3:36:30 PM PDT by SmithL

NASHVILLE — A report from the state attorney general says that while John Ford was a state senator, he did consulting work inside Tennessee for a TennCare contractor, contradicting his contention that the work strictly involved out-of-state issues.

The report, released today, was prepared by Attorney General Paul Summers for the Senate Ethics Committee concerning Ford, a Memphis Democrat indicted in May on bribery charges in a separate federal investigation.

Ford was a consultant for Doral Dental through Managed Care Services Group, which paid him $236,000 as a partner in the firm at the same time he was in Senate.

In early May, Ford contended angrily on the Senate floor that all his work for Doral was out-of-state. But the Summers report says, "The current president of Doral Dental states that it was his understanding that the agreement between Doral and MCSG was for consulting efforts in Tennessee and that he was unaware of any work to be performed by MCSG in any other state."

Ford's activities sparked the state's toughest ethics legislation ever, including language that will explicitly ban state contractors from funneling money to government officials, a provision aimed squarely at Ford and his lucrative ties to Doral Dental and another company, Memphis-based UAHC Health Plan.

Gov. Phil Bredesen has even said he may call a special session to deal with ethics reform.

Ford was indicted with four other current or former lawmakers in late May during operation Tennessee Waltz. He resigned shortly after his arrest and is currently on house arrest.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Ramsey, who also chairs the Senate Ethics Committee, said Ford came before the group in early March after it learned he had failed to disclose his consulting deals on required state forms. He said the former senator lied at that meeting.

"He sat across the table from us, pointed his finger and said, 'Let me assure you, I haven't done any consulting work for anyone in the state of Tennessee,"' Ramsey said. "All of this was under oath. Apparently he lied to us at that time."

Following that meeting, Ramsey said the committee realized its investigative "scope of Ford wasn't wide enough," which he said led to the unprecedented move of hiring the attorney general's office as outside counsel.

He said he plans to schedule an ethics hearing sometime this month and discuss forwarding the attorney general's report to federal prosecutors in Memphis and Nashville.

"That's our duty if we feel we've had criminal violations," Ramsey said.

Meanwhile, TennCare officials announced last month that they're imposing tougher ethical standards in new contracts the state is now negotiating with managed care groups.

The Doral deal violated TennCare regulations and is under investigation by a federal grand jury in Nashville. The state is not renewing its contract.

The state's tougher stance means contractors will received lower payments, must disclose lobbying deals, accept stricter rules on consulting arrangements, and face stiffer penalties for violating the contracts. The state also will wield more authority to terminate the deals.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: fordfraud; johnford
1 posted on 06/30/2005 3:36:32 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL
He did fine work for Tenn-Care. BTW - how's that gem working?
2 posted on 06/30/2005 3:48:39 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken (Seldom right, but never in doubt.)
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To: Wally_Kalbacken
Still struggling along...put another nail in it please.

Sorry can't do a hot link or post more of this news papers story, it is one of those who do not want us to post more than this.

TennCare vendor: Ford was paid for Tennessee work

Doral Dental contradicts his claim that consulting was done outside state

3 posted on 06/30/2005 4:24:16 PM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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To: SmithL

Fleming said just a few minutes ago he has it on good authority that the Federal Grand Jury voted 100% to indict johnny boy.

4 posted on 06/30/2005 4:25:45 PM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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To: SmithL

GOP leadership has asked chris newton to resign..he told them NO.

5 posted on 06/30/2005 4:26:30 PM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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