Ford's penalty could have been much worse - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ford's penalty could have been much worse

There's more fallout from State Senator John Ford's $10-thousand fine by the state Registry of Election Finance. We are learning that Ford's penalty could have been much worse. Ford says former Mayor Jim Rout did the same thing. Ford's attorney Ed Yarbrough Wednesday told the Registry of Election Finance there was political precedence for spending money on a wedding, or wedding anniversary. Ford spent more than $15-thousand in campaign money on his daughter's wedding. Ford said late Wednesday that former Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout used more than $10-thousand from his campaign to pay for his 40th wedding anniversary. Thursday, Karen Dunavant, a board member of the Registry said that's a Shelby County issue. Ford is a State official. What the board did have a problem with was that Ford listed an expense to Awesome Video. Not the company's real name, Awesome Wedding Video. Karen Dunavant, Registry of Election Finance Board said, "That could be perceived as some sort of attempt to hide the fact that it was a wedding video." That's fraud she believes. Dunavant also said that there were seven different expenditures that Ford listed in connection with the wedding. "The thing was that we could have fined him $10-thousand for each instance, and I thought that fining him $10-thousand was actually pretty generous." So while Ford complains that he got the maximum fine, he actually could have been hit with a $70-thousand penalty. Ford's attorney said he plans an appeal, or what is actually called a re-consideration by the board. Action News 5 called former Mayor Jim Rout to get his comment on those allegations. He did not return the calls.
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