Former Senator John Ford gets the OK to leave town

An indictment on bribery and extortion charges won't keep former state Senator John Ford from attending a convention of black business and political leaders in Washington, D-C. Ford, of Memphis, will attend the conference September 21st to 26th to look for new clients for his private consulting business. U-S District Court Judge Daniel Breen gave Ford permission to leave the state for the convention. Since Ford is on bond awaiting trial, he cannot leave Tennessee without a judge's O-K. Ford's work as a consultant for a TennCare subcontractor while still in the Senate was at the center of a debate on ethics that dominated much of the latest session of the General Assembly. Ford is charged with bribery and extortion in an unrelated investigation focused on an F-B-I front company that sought favorable legislation from the General Assembly. He also is charged with threatening a federal witness. Ford resigned from the Senate shortly after his indictment.