Ford argues to keep insurance license

Former State Senator John Ford went before a state judge Tuesday morning as the Tennessee Department of Insurance asked that his insurance license be taken away from him.

"The violation was using the money that was given to him for campaign purposes," said Mary Moody with the Tennessee Department of Insurance. "Business purposes for a personal reason."
A state committee recently found Ford guilty of misusing campaign funds, saying more than ten thousand dollars in campaign contributions were spent on the wedding of Ford's daughter in 2003. For that reason, the insurance commission feels Ford is not trustworthy.

"We should not have to wait around for him to defraud an insurance client," Moody said.

Ford contends constituents of his then senate district attended the wedding, which was held at the Peabody.  Therefore, Ford says, the money was legitimately spent.

"We had people there from elected officials, from campaign supporters," Ford said. "People who had given to my campaign."
Ford contended that the committee that found him guilty of misusing funds, and fined him $10,000, did so under pressure.  "It was just a political decision prompted by the news media to try to have a finding of this perceived perception of a fraud," he said.

Both the state and attorneys for John Ford have just over a month to file their final arguments in writing, before the judge makes a decision.