John Ford's extortion trial delayed until October

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Wenesday morning a federal judge in Wednesday morning delayed the trial of former state Senator John Ford on public corruption charges for eight months.

Ford's trial had been scheduled to start Monday, but now will begin October second.

Defense attorney Michael Scholl told federal District Court Judge Daniel Breen he needed more time to sift through evidence against his client.

Ford was one of five sitting and former lawmakers arrested last May in Tennessee Waltz, a two-year undercover investigation into officials taking payoffs.

An indictment charges him with taking $55,000 in payoffs to help a computer recycling company called E-cycle- a phony firm created by the FBI for its probe.

Ford has also been accused of threatening a witness. He pleaded innocent to the charges.

He resigned his Senate seat shortly after his arrest.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)