Monday, May 19, 2008

It Just Played Out

Edmund Ford enters the court everyday with his lovely wife Myrna holding one hand, and shaking everybody else's with the other. He acts like he's running for political office again. Though he probably won't, but stranger things have happened. That was probably his best asset during his time as a city councilman. His undertaker background is obvious where ever he goes. He is used to going to churches and meetings shaking hands and kissing babies. For what it's worth, he has been visible though. The people in his district knew they voted in a fool. That's why some of them like him. He didn't always hide behind closed doors and do his misdeeds though. He often did it in public view. Anybody that has watched the council meetings over the years, have seen him in action. Now we understand what those idiotic rants and raves were all about all these years. Like he himself said in the video played at his trial. He was making somebody walk out of the council meeting. Obviously sometimes that worked.

I couldn't help but notice some of his loyal supporters during his trial. I guess they know we see them, with their faces being in practically every camera shot. They're circling around like funeral directors in the time of bereavement. You can believe me when I say. Some of those well wishers are really looking at his pretty little wife. Hoping to catch her if she falls. You have to wonder about a man or woman who would be at another mans' trial everyday, and their livelihood wasn't affected by his outcome. Why would you publicly encourage and support someone though they're obviously guilty? And you call yourself a minister or a community spokesman. Unless you were trying to get brownie points with someone other than him. What is their motive? No need trying to gain the favor of Edmund Ford, he's on his way to jail.

I don't know how smart Mrs. Ford is, her husband might be the brains of the bunch. If that's the case we'll soon find out. All the stuff they were on the verge of losing anyway. Will very quickly be lost if he's convicted. With all the money they're making on funerals these days. I don't expect that to happen though. The business is largely successful because of her. If the rumors I've heard are true. Edmund Ford being locked up might save the family some money in the long run. I've met Mrs. Ford before and she doesn't impress me as being slow. Instead, I see a seasoned player. Playing her role until the end. She isn't the religious beacon she's pretending to be either. Don't let her fool you. She is not blind to Edmund Ford's shady dealings. She has long been a willing recipient. She like her husband, is cunningly aloof. That eye popping, crazy talking, bristling up persona he's been hiding behind all this time. Even though he wouldn't bust a grape. It just played out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The jury has it now.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jurors ponder Ford's fate in bribery case
By Lawrence Buser (Contact)
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Federal court jurors will resume efforts this morning to determine whether former City Council member Edmund Ford Sr. was a politician for sale or an innocent victim of an unscrupulous government informant.

The seven women and five men were told by prosecutors that the 52-year-old mortician accepted $8,900 in bribes from a political consultant in 2006 for his votes and influence in a development project, removal of a city billboard moratorium and the replacement of the chairman of the Board of Adjustment.

Secretly recorded videotapes showed Ford accepting $4,900 in cash from political lobbyist Joe Cooper.
Payment was loan, not bribe, says Edmund Ford

"Each of these payments was made for official acts," federal prosecutor Tom Colthurst told jurors as he showed secretly recorded videos of consultant Joe Cooper giving cash to Ford. "You also see Mr. Cooper providing additional money once Mr. Ford makes progress on these particular projects. ... The only explanation here is money for influence."

Cooper testified that he wore hidden recording equipment and acted under FBI supervision in hopes of getting a sentencing break later for his money laundering conviction last year. He said he and Ford had an ongoing relationship in which they traded financial and political favors.

Jurors began deliberations shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday after receiving lengthy jury instructions from U.S. Dist. Court Judge Samuel H. Mays Jr. They adjourned just after 5:30 p.m. and will resume at 9:30 today.

Ford's defense attorney, Michael Scholl, called Cooper "a low-life" criminal who manipulated Ford into accepting money by calling them car payments or mortgage loans and then bringing up council business in an effort to make them look like bribes.

Scholl said Ford had never before taken money for political favors and that the FBI had no reason to begin investigating his client.

Ford testified he thought the money was part of a loan Cooper had offered to arrange for the financing of the councilman's Whitehaven funeral home.

"This is not a traffic ticket," Scholl told jurors. "This is this man's life. ... Mr. Ford is an innocent man. There is no crime here."

Lead prosecutor Larry Laurenzi later agreed that Cooper, who also has a bank fraud conviction from 1977, is not a model citizen, but then added that "there is no swan in the sewers."

"Maybe I wish we had a law-abiding citizen to meet with Mr. Ford and give him money, but that is not who does this type of business," Laurenzi said. "It's the Joe Coopers of the world."

He said it makes no difference if Ford thought the money was a loan or for a monthly car payment on the Cadillac that Cooper had helped finance for Ford by using developer Rusty Hyneman as a cosigner.

"How many people pay your car note?" Laurenzi asked jurors. "The thank you for the money is the vote. ... Mr. Cooper didn't snare Mr. Ford. Mr. Ford snared himself. It wasn't the FBI. It was just greed."

Ford faces three counts of extortion and three counts of bribery in the case that involves four payments from Cooper between Aug. 30 and Nov. 30 of 2006.

Evidence in the case included 11 FBI-supervised secret recordings of meetings and phone conversations involving Cooper and Ford.

The case, dubbed Mainstreet Sweeper, also resulted in the indictment of then-City Council member Rickey Peete, who pleaded guilty last year to accepting $14,500 from Cooper for the same voting issues.

Peete is serving a 51-month prison sentence in Montgomery, Ala.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think your opinion is right.

However, Edmund Ford may be the first defendant whose money problems were so bad that it in fact provided a defense.

My feelings about the verdict are mixed.

If there is a Ford one would want to root for, it is Ed. He seems to be a hard worker and has been married for many years (unlike his 60 something brother John who relied upon a 26 y.o. girlfriend for a defense).

My feelings are mixed b/c Memphis is a city victimized by self-serving politicians.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:14 AM  
Blogger Common said...

Don't count the FBI out yet. They still have a 90% conviction rate. Edmund Ford has another trial.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edmund Ford Sr. - 2
FBI - zero
Gotta love it!

8:37 AM  

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