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Law barriers may stop Ford from political comeback

Law barriers may stop Ford from political comeback
MEMPHIS (AP) — Legal reforms passed in the wake of an FBI bribery sting may keep former state senator John Ford from returning to public office now that he’s been released from prison.
A 2007 law change aimed to keep disgraced and jailed politicians from regaining public office after their criminal cases were done by banning them from “holding any public office” in the state. The measure came as part of a raft of legal changes in the wake of the sting that snared Ford and 11 others across the state.
Ford, a 70-year-old Memphis Democrat, went to federal prison for four years before returning to Memphis last week, where he’s assigned to a halfway house.
“You watch what I do,” Ford told reporters before disappearing into a halfway house where he’s banned from media contact. “I am not down. I am not out. I am way out in front.”
Former State Rep. Frank Buck told The Commercial Appeal (bit.ly/SEr2JC) that Ford’s future may be an issue for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office to sort out.
“It may or may not apply to him,” said Buck, a Smithville attorney. “You’d have to ask the attorney general on that one. I had some questions, too. You get always into the ex post facto situation.”
Ford’s intentions remain unclear. His brother, Joe Ford, thinks John Ford’s political days are done.
“I doubt it. They passed that law where you can’t go back,” said Ford, a former Shelby County commissioner and one-time interim county mayor. “When we’re together we don’t talk about politics. I don’t want to speak for him. But that would be something he would have to decide.”
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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com
Published in The Messenger 8.27.12

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