Trial of Edmund Ford shows extent of financial woes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Trial of Edmund Ford shows extent of financial woes

The corruption trial of former city councilman Edmund Ford is in it's fifth day and the defense is just getting started.

"We feel real good about our case and we're excited and anxious to put our portion of our proof on and right now we're feeling really good," Ford's attorney Mike Scholl said.

Friday, Ford's wife was the first witness for the defense.  Myrna Ford testified she and her husband were behind on their bills when Mr. Ford began accepting cash payments from long time family friend Joe Cooper in August of 2006. 

That is when Cooper went undercover for the FBI after being indicted on money laundering charges. 
Federal prosecutors said Ford was taking bribes in exchange for his influence on the Memphis City Council. But Mrs. Ford said the money was to help the couple get caught up on car payments and apply for a loan.  That is just part of a broader picture of the Ford's financial troubles. 

Between 1997 and 1999 they filed for bankruptcy three times.  And failed to file their tax returns from 2002 through 2005. 

In 2007, Edmund Ford was at the center of a political fire storm when he was charged with receiving preferential treatment from MLGW and allowed to defer paying thousands of dollars in over due utility bills. 

But defense attorneys said Ford did nothing illegal when he took money from an FBI informant. 

Come Monday, they will continue to make their case.

"I would expect going in through Monday maybe into Tuesday," Scholl said.

And before it is over, Edmund Ford is expected to testify on his own behalf. 

Myrna Ford will be back on the stand when testimony resumes Monday morning.

Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.

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