Ford files motion to remain free, have public pay for transcripts

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Former state Sen. John Ford intends to appeal his bribery conviction and has requested to remain free on bond until that appeal is resolved.

The motion also asks that trial transcripts needed for his appeal be provided to him at the public's expense.

The Memphis Democrat once earned $365,000 a year as a consultant, but now has declared he is indigent and is working with court-appointed attorney Robert C. Brooks.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Ford asked to have the transcript copying expedited, something that could cost taxpayers more than $4 a page for what are likely to be thousands of pages.

Ford, 65, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in federal prison after a jury found him guilty of taking $55,000 in a federal corruption investigation code named Tennessee Waltz.

In a response filed Wednesday afternoon, prosecutor Tim DiScenza opposed producing the transcripts at the government's expense and stated "the granting of an appeal bond would be inappropriate."

Brooks said the appeal bond request is rarely granted but "every case is different."

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