Former state senator John Ford returned to Memphis on Monday, four years and four months after he left to serve a term in federal prison for bribery, reports the Commercial Appeal. “He looked good. Good spirits. He looks to get his life back,” said his brother, Joe Ford.
“We’re glad he’s back. It’s been pretty hard on his family.”
Released from the Federal Correctional Institute in Yazoo City, Miss., Ford reported to a halfway house at 1629 Winchester, where he’s expected to remain for at least the next week. Ford’s 5-year sentence expires in February. Federal inmates often are released to a halfway house about six months prior to the expiration of their terms.
What comes next for Ford, 70, remains unclear. He could work for one of his relatives’ three funeral homes.
“If he asks, it won’t be a problem,” said Joe Ford, whose Joe Ford Funeral Home is across the street from the halfway house where his brother is staying.
James Williams, executive director of Dierson Charities, which runs the halfway house, declined comment.
Ford reported to prison on April 28, 2008 following his 2007 bribery conviction in Memphis.
News release from TBI:
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office have investigated a case against a former Hawkins County, Tenn. judge which has resulted in him being indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury on forty-one counts of theft.
Former Hawkins County General Sessions Court Judge James “Jay” Taylor, age 41, of Rogersville, Tenn. was indicted on 36 counts of theft more than $500 and less than $1,000, three counts of theft over $1,000 and two counts of theft less than $500. Taylor turned himself into authorities on the charges this morning and was booked into the Davidson County Jail.
Between September 15, 2010 and July 27, 2011, Taylor filed numerous false claims with the Administrative Office of the Courts requesting payment for services as appointed legal counsel in cases where he did not perform legal services.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into allegations of bribery and theft against Taylor at the request of the 3rd Judicial District Attorney General’s Office in August of 2011. The theft offenses named in the indictments occurred in Davidson County where the Administrative Office of the Courts is located and are being prosecuted by the Davidson County District Attorney General’s Office and Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.
TBI’s investigation on Taylor in Hawkins County is currently open and ongoing. Taylor’s bond in the Davidson County Jail is set at $175,000.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A former auto title clerk in Memphis is scheduled to begin serving an eight-year bribery sentence.
At a hearing on Monday in Shelby County Criminal Court, Jacqueline Denson repeatedly told the judge she had done nothing wrong in accepting what she called “tips” and presented papers in which she said she was being “railroaded,” according to The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/w44MYi ).
Denson pleaded guilty in July to six counts of bribery. She was accused of taking $5 to $40 dollars in the instances.
A two-year investigation has resulted in bribery or official misconduct charges against 16 people in the Shelby County Clerk’s office. Former City Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware is among the defendants.
Denson was ordered to begin serving her sentence on Tuesday.
A highway contractor who paid a former Tennessee Department of Transportation employee $30,000 in exchange for a recommendation to more than quadruple a contract is suing the state for banning him from future projects, reports The Tennessean. In the lawsuit, Novice “Joey” Cole, the owner and president of Kingston Springs-based guardrail company Lu Inc., argues that TDOT’s decision to suspend him and his companies violates the terms of a 2006 settlement agreement he reached with the state on an unrelated matter.
The suit also charges that the suspension relies on protected testimony he provided to federal investigators about James Douglas Hagar, a TDOT worker who has admitted to soliciting and accepting bribes.
In letters to Cole, TDOT officials say the suspension is necessary to preserve “public confidence in the integrity of the department’s bidding and contracting processes, and in the appropriate expenditure of public funds.”
Cole’s attorneys, however, say the decision should serve as a cautionary tale for those who consider cooperating with government agencies and investigators. “The bottom line is here is a guy who, in the end, did what’s right and told the truth,” said Harold Donnelly, a Nashville attorney representing Cole.