Skip to comments.John Ford sentenced to 66 months in prison
Posted on 08/28/2007 8:59:59 AM PDT by SmithL
John Ford was sentenced to 66 months in prison this morning for his April conviction of accepting $55,000 in bribes in the FBI's Tennessee Waltz public corruption investigation.
U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen carefully noted his interpretation of advisory federal guidelines that suggest enhanced punishment for factors such as the amount and number of bribes, threatening witnesses, acceptance of responsibility and the fact that Ford was an elected official.
The judge said he was not convinced that Ford truly believes he did anything wrong and that the sentence must be a deterrence to others.
"The court is not convinced that a reduction for acceptance of responsibility is warranted in this case," Breen said. "This trial reflects a person of greed and avarice, but at the same time a man with the ability to help others. This is the tragic dichotomy of this case.
"The sentence, therefore, should reflect the serious nature of this offense."
Ford, 65, was one of 12 lawmakers or aides charged in the sweeping statewide investigation, 11 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted in trial.
Earlier this morning defense attorney Michael Scholl criticized the media and the government for "the persecution of John Ford" over the years.
"What I have seen is John Ford singled out in all of this," Scholl told the judge, noting that other legislators have been convicted and faced lighter sentencing. "John Ford could have gone out and robbed and shot somebody and he would be facing less time than he is now. What I want to emphasize here is all the good that John Ford has done. We can't just wipe out 30 years in the legislature."
Witnesses have testified that the county has suffered in money it gets from the legislature because Ford is no longer there, Scholl added.
He also issued a plea for the judge to consider Ford's support responsibilities for seven of his 12 children.
"John Ford has suffered for two years," Scholl said. "They have taken everything he has. One of the things I've seen in this case is the awesome power of the government."
Federal prosecutor Lorraine Craig said Scholl's comments reflect the problems that the government has with Ford.
"He has been persecuted? He has suffered?" she said. "Is it a surprise that his family and friends did not see the side that we saw on those (undercover) tapes? This was Mr. Ford, the man who makes the deals. The man who goes first class. That's the Mr. Ford we saw."
She said Ford accepts no responsibility for his offense.
"The only thing he says he did wrong was that he trusted too much," Craig told the judge. "No one persecuted Mr. Ford. He is here in this courtroom because of his own criminal conduct."
According to the radio this was Federal and he is required to do at least 85% of the time which comes to 4.68 years.
There is no parole in the federal corrections system. I believe inmates have to do 80 percent of their sentence in prison and then go to a halfway house to serve the remainder.
Correct. I just looked it up and it is 85 percent.
Could you send my wife an e-mail confirming that I DO pay attention sometimes.
WOW!...A DemocRATe, was indicted, prosecuted AND is going to (Country Club?) prison and UofKy Football; went to a bowl game, last season.
In the Age Of Klinton, too.....wonders never cease.
I am shocked.
He still has the Nashville trial to go through.
This is a federal prison/sentence he will serve 85%...there technically is no ‘good behavior’ credits to earn...he gets them on the front end....15% off his time.
Meanwhile, his nephew Harold is still pontificating on TV.
Well, for that matter, it doesn’t mention that he isn’t a 113-year-old movie director, either.
It was in fact discrimination. The law discriminates between those who obey the law and those who choose to ignore it. The Fords of Memphis, a political dynasty of Blacks, consistently choose to ignore the law.
Damn. I really enjoyed his westerns, too. Especially the ones with John Wayne.
Yes he does. And if he is found guilty there, I hope the two sentences run consecutively rather than concurrent to each other. John Ford can rot in prison as far as I’m concerned.
Did he ever account for the 800,000 or is that still pending?
Sentencing is nearly always recorded in months. Usaually translated to years by the media.
U.S. Atty. David Kustoff said this morning the sentencing of former state senator John Ford to 5½ years in prison for taking bribes sends a strong statement to others in public office.
The sentence imposed is both fair and reasonable, Kustoff said in a press conference in the federal building. The term appropriately holds John Ford accountable for violating the public trust. ... Nobody wants to see their public officials on the take.
Ford, 65, was sentenced earlier this morning by U.S. Dist. Court Judge J. Daniel Breen who said he considered deterrence and the nature of the offense, among other factors.
FBI Special Agent in Charge My Harrison praised agents Brian Burns and Mark Jackson for their work in the agencys undercover operation, dubbed Tennessee Waltz, that has resulted in 11 convictions so far without a loss.
She said Fords sentence was appropriate.
The jury has spoken and the judge has spoken, Harrison said. The sentence is fair.
She and Kustoff said the FBI investigations, including Tennessee Waltz and Main Street Sweeper, are ongoing.
The FBI chief added: We will continue our investigation. It doesnt stop here.
Federal prosecutor Tim DiScenza said secret audio and video tape recordings used to document the bribes being passed made a difficult case possible and believable for the juries.
I`d forgot about that little matter of takeing that $800,000 of Tn Care money,but he`s still got that trial
Elated to see that Judge sock it to Ford today,justice
has been long in comeing to this embarresment to Tn. over the years.
It had to be the Feds,Tn would never have done this sting,too afraid of that Memphis crowd. imho
Dear Mrs. Married with Children:
Your husband listens well and has excellent recall.
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