Ford stays under house arrest - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ford stays under house arrest

Ford was told he would not be going back to a federal prison while he awaits trial on charges he accepted money from a bogus company created by the FBI. In fact, the judge today gave him an extra hour on his curfew and permission to shuttle between families on weekends.

"It has been a very painful ordeal," Ford said. Outside federal court, now-Mr. John Ford was a vision of innocence. Emotional as he thanked his constituents for standing by him.

"To the people of senate district 29, I've enjoyed working for them I definitely appreciate all the support that they've given me over the years," said Ford.

In court, he was silent. As prosecutors re-played video tape that claims to show ford taking bribes, and audiotapes that - they claim - feature him threatening to shoot an informant. Ford's lawyer - and a conga line of local bigwigs, including developer ronald belz, county commissioner Julian Bolton and more than half a dozen pastors - described the former senator as an arrogant man who is all talk, but one who wouldn't hurt a fly, despite years of media attention for aggressive behavior.

"You can come out here and say you know there's been several instances, but there's been no convictions against Mr. Ford. Accusations are accusations. I can walk down the street and accuse you of doing anything," said Ford attornery Michael Scholl.

Federal Court judge Daniel Breen apparently agreed, upholding a ruling from Friday, freeing Ford on house arrest for the duration of the trial. Ford also told us his resignation on Saturday had been planned since April, a result of new ethics legislation making it difficult for him to work as a senator and consultant--and nothing - he says - to do with his indictment.

"You'll notice that none of my other colleagues who have been charged have not resigned their convictions and I will encourage them not to," said Ford. Ford is due back in court on June 8th for an arraignment. We'll be here when he comes back. As we will throughout his trial.



A judge in Memphis Tuesday agreed to let former state senator John Ford stay on house arrest. Ford will remain free on $20,000 bond on bribery and witness intimidation charges. On his way into the a federal courtroom, Ford spoke briefly with reporters and proclaimed his innocence. Prosecutors asked U-S District Judge Daniel Breen to revoke Ford's house arrest and send the former state lawmaker back to jail until his trial. Ford resigned his Senate seat on Saturday, two days after he, three other current lawmakers, a former senator and two other people were charged in federal indictments. Ford also said this afternoon his resignation had nothing to do with the case. In court today, the judge watched secretly recorded tapes that prosecutors claim show Ford taking a payoff from undercover agents.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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