May 30, 2005 at 1:29 AM CDT - Updated July 12 at 9:35 AM
John Ford has yet to answer federal charges in a court of law. But arguments are already underway in the court of public opinion. And there are plenty of people who remain on his side.
"I love all the Fords--they good people," says Calvin Boone.
The Boone family has lived in this South Memphis neighborhood for 60 years. Otha Boone watched the Ford brothers grow up. And when election time rolled around--John always had his vote.
"He was alright with me and I thought he was an honest man and everything," says Otha.
If anybody can beat an extortion rap, Boone believes Ford can. Although he admits videotape of Ford getting paid for alleged political favors is pretty compelling.
"You know, everybody make a mistake--you know, it's hard to turn down money," Otha adds.
But not everybody in John Ford's former senate district are as forgiving.
"I think it's pretty scandalous and I'm really glad he's going to be gone," says Katie Fagan.
Ford detractors on Mud Island and elsewhere may now have a chance to find a more suitable replacement.
"I would like to see a senator there for the people--the people put them there--they're there for our interests, our kids, etc.--and I just don't feel that that's what's been taking place," says Paul Cooke.
While many think this corruption scandal is a chance to start fresh, others have had no complaints with the ways things have been.