Lawmakers react to Ford's resignation and the indictments - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lawmakers react to Ford's resignation and the indictments

The state legislature met today to wrap up work on the budget.

And even though he wasn't there, John Ford stole the show when his resignation was announced.

Lieutenant Governor John Wilder the letter, saying: "I hereby resign from the state Senate. I plan to spend the rest of my time with my family clearing my name."

Ford's resignation comes just as the Senate Ethics Committee wraps up it's investigation into allegations of ethics violations against the long time Senator concerning his work as a consultant with TennCare contractor Doral Dental.

Republican Senate Leader Ron Ramsey chairs the ethics committee and says he was getting ready to file a six-count charge against Ford for violating Senate rules.

"And I believe that we would have had the votes to remove Senator Ford from office," he said. "So I think the writing was on the wall, he could see that and that's what got us to the point where we are now."

Ramsey says it is possible the committee will still pursue those charges, even with Ford's resignation.

We also heard today for the first time from State Senator Kathyrn Bowers.

Speaking before a crowd of reporters in Nashville, Senator Bowers had a special message for her constituency here in Memphis and across the state.

"Everybody that knows me, knows that I'm a fighter, that I've always taken the position and whatever happens to me in life that I will in fact go down fighting," said the Memphis Democrat. "I know of my guilt or innocence and I know what's going to happen in this case, I will be found not guilty."

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