Council members react strongly to indictments against Edmund Ford

Memphis City Council members reacted strongly to the indictments handed up Wednesday against Edmund Ford and Joseph Lee by a federal grand jury.
Most council members had two things to say: The MLGW board acted prematurely in giving Joseph Lee his benefits package and paying his personal legal fees, and Edmund Ford should step down from the council.

"The benefits after Mr. Lee resigned should not have been granted until the grand jury completed its investigation," said council member Myron Lowery.

Lowery added that he wants the board to reconsider that issue.  "I think the Light, Gas, and Water board should rescind those benefits in light of this indictment," he said.

For a second time, Lowery is calling for Edmund Ford to resign, as are others, but council chair Tom Marshall doesn't think Ford will do it.

"If Councilman Ford were to follow the request of most council members and followed his own convictions he would have resigned by now," Marshall said. "Given his earlier indictments, I think he will continue."

Marshall agreed MLGW should take back the benefits and legal fees the utility board approved to pay.

"The community now sees Joseph Lee as a potential criminal; somebody who may have been involved in criminal activity, and does not deserve to be rewarded for that," he said.

Council members also looked at Wednesday as a positive day, as government cleaned itself from corruption.

to email Andrew Douglas.