(Memphis) After being behind bars since 2007, it’s believed former Tennessee State Senator John Ford may be one step closer to being a free man.
Former federal prosecutor and News Channel 3 political analyst David Kustoff was the U.S. Attorney at the time Ford was convicted and sentenced, “Assuming that he’s earned time for good behavior then the time is about right for him to come out of that part of federal custody and he goes to a halfway house.”
Ford has been housed at the Federal Penitentiary in Yazoo City, Mississippi.
He was convicted for his role in undercover investigation called Operation Tennessee Waltz.
It involved Ford being caught on camera taking money.
He was serving 19-and-a-half years following separate corruption convictions in Memphis and Nashville, but an appeals court threw out the Nashville conviction, which shaved several years off his sentence.
Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis said Ford has been treated like any other inmate. Cohen said, “The federal government works on numbers and how much time you’re sentenced to and how much time you get credit, and people are treated the same and he’s been treated as John Doe.”
Other elected leaders such as Memphis City Council members Myron Lowery and Janice Fullilove know John Ford.
They said, if and when, he is released from prison, perhaps he’ll be a changed man after serving time for his crime.
Lowery said, “Let’s let him answer that question only he can tell you what those years in prison have done for him, no one else can.”
Fullilove agreed, “Of course people change. My grandmother told me it’s a poor wind that certainly never changes. I still think he’ll be that charismatic John Ford.”
Many of Ford’s family didn’t want to talk on camera today, but they say they’re hopeful he will be released on August 20.
Ford is now 70.
He is the last of 12 officials and lobbyists convicted in the Tennessee Waltz investigation to remain in prison.