Ford's pension checks are on the way - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ford's pension checks are on the way

John Ford stepped down as senator this weekend and his pension checks are on the way. Those checks will still be in the mail, even if he is convicted in this corruption scandal. While John Ford is out of public service for the first time in 31 years, our investigation found the former State Senator is still plenty deep into taxpayer pocket books. Even though John Ford resigned his State Senate seat amidst a bribery and extortion scandal, he'll stick taxpayers with a pretty sweet pension deal. "I think the public will be very uneasy about it." Uneasy says State Senator Jim Kyle of Memphis, because a State pension report shows Ford will draw more than $2,500 a month for the rest of his life, meaning Ford will make more off taxpayers out of office than he did in office, even if convicted of the charges he faces. As Senator, Ford received $1,375 a month plus a $1,000 per month home office allowance, a total of $28,500 per year. But since State Senators receive a $70 per month pension for every year served, Ford will receive $2,187 per month, plus another $320 a month for serving four years as the Shelby County General Session Court Clerk in the early 1990s, a total of $30,080 a year. Sen. James Kyle said, "I don't think the public will understand if anyone is convicted how they can draw a pension, but those the statutes as they are." State Senator Steve Cohen joined the charge in 1993 to change those statutes and prevent elected officials convicted of federal felonies to draw State pensions. Sen. Steve Cohen said, "I think it should be an additional punishment. It would hopefully cause people to think about that and contour their conduct to what's appropriate and right." But the law only applies to those elected officials entering public service after May 31, 1993, nearly 20 years after John Ford first took office. If convicted, four out of the five current and former elected officials named in the federal indictment would keep their pensions, including recently elected State Senator Kathryn Bowers, who entered the State Pension program as a school teacher in 1989. Only State Representative Chris Newton of Cleveland, elected in 1994, would not.
Powered by Frankly