Feds won't re-try Ford for extortion

Federal prosecutors will not re-try former State Senator John Ford for extortion related to the Tennessee Waltz sting, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney's office late today.  A jury was unable to reach agreement on this charge during Ford's trial last week.

Ford was found guilty of bribery and not guilty on three counts of witness intimidation.  The jury was deadlocked on the extortion charge.

Ford is still awaiting trial on unrelated charges of federal wire fraud in Tennessee's middle district.

The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office:

Statement Regarding the Decision to Dismiss Count One of the

Indictment Charging John Ford with Extortion

Examination of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, as promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission as well as a consideration of current case law, indicates that the guidelines which will be considered by the sentencing judge in this case would not be altered by either a conviction or acquittal on Count One of the indictment against John Ford.  In view of the fact that all of the conduct which was the subject matter of Counts One and Two of the indictment will be considered by the United States District Judge, and since the guidelines the Judge considers will not be altered by either a conviction or acquittal on Count One of the indictment, this office has determined that it would not be an efficient use of government resources, nor of the resources or time of the defendant, to retry Count One of the indictment. Therefore, the decision has been made to request a dismissal without prejudice of Count One of this indictment, dealing with obstruction of interstate commerce by reason of extortion.