Cooper claims jury tampering in Edmund Ford trial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Cooper claims jury tampering in Edmund Ford trial

Political operative and convicted felon Joe Copper claims the jury in the federal trial of former Memphis City Council member Edmund Ford, Sr. was tainted.

"Somebody either took a bribe, or was intent on making sure Mr. Ford was found not guilty," Cooper said Tuesday in an interview with Action News 5.

Cooper is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with knowledge that can prove jury tampering. Cooper says the reward money is coming from ten different business people, and came about after he was tipped off to the possibility of jury tampering in Ford's May trial.

"I have information given to me from someone - lets just say a former elected official that knows the players involved - and I have a comfort level that its true," he said.

Cooper said he can't prove the allegation, and that's why he is offering a reward.  Prosecutors claim Ford took thousands of dollars in cash from Cooper, who was recording his conversations with Ford in exchange for a lighter sentence in his case.

Ford claimed the money was a loan and the jury apparently agreed, acquitting him.

"I'm interested in who the business people are," said Mike Scholl, Ford's attorney. "I would think any business person who would deal with Joe Cooper would be out of his mind."

Scholl said he thinks Cooper's allegations of jury tampering are insulting to the jurors. Scholl believes Joe Cooper has an unhealthy obsession with Edmund Ford.

"It appears to me Mr. Cooper is a sick man, and hopefully when he goes to prison he can get the help he needs," Scholl said.

Cooper is scheduled to begin serving a six-month sentence in December.

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