Ophelia Ford files a lawsuit against local lawmakers

Embattled former senator Ophelia Ford is the chief plaintiff in a new lawsuit filed Tuesday. Her brother Joe Ford is one of more than a dozen defendants.

"I'm named as one of the defendants--as a county commissioner, yes," says Ford.

In fact, every Shelby County Commissioner is named in the suit. Ophelia Ford hopes to keep them from filling the senate seat from which she was removed last week.

"You know, Ophelia, this is her call in this lawsuit," says Joe Ford.

It's a lawsuit that also takes aim at the state senate. Attorney David Cocke claims it's vote to void the District 29 election was invalid and built on shaky evidence.

"We think the senate has failed to meet its constitutional obligations," says Cocke.

And so it's another trip to federal court and a possible hearing before Judge Bernice Donald.

"Judge Donald denied our request for an injunction before the senate acted, but she left open the question of coming back into court after the senate acted," says Cocke.

The decision to void the election could be reversed, putting Ophelia Ford back in the senate. Then again, things could land in the lap of her brother Joe and the rest of the county commission.

"We'll probably appoint someone on the 22nd of May if this lawsuit doesn't stand up," says Joe Ford.

Commissioner Ford tells Action News 5 at least one person has already expressed interest in filling the interim seat if his sister is not successful with this lawsuit. Meantime, Senate District 29 has no representation in Nashville.