MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Tuesday was the first time WREG got to ask Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford questions in person since we discovered he’d been accused of domestic violence three times in the past.
Ford was due in court on his recent charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment after police say he choked and hit his girlfriend. However, the court date got reset as they wait for a special prosecutor to be assigned to the case.
Before the court hearing was reset, Commissioner Justin Ford shook some hands and flashed a smile in the hallways at 201 Poplar. It was a similar scene to when he walked out of jail smiling and waving to cameras the day after his arrest.
“We’ve seen you smile and wave when you’re accused of domestic violence," WREG's Bridget Chapman said to him. "Do you think it’s a laughing matter? Do you not take these allegations seriously?”
“No comment," said his father Joe Ford. "Don’t be smart.”
A witness told WREG he watched Ford choke his girlfriend and refuse to let her leave the car they were in.
This comes after being accused of punching, choking and slamming a girlfriend into a car in the past. He was never prosecuted in those cases.
We’ve been trying to get answers from the elected official for over a week.
“Would you like to say anything today, Mr. Ford?” we asked him Tuesday.
But he’s stayed quiet, except on his Facebook page where he’s responded that he’s not guilty.
The Shelby County District Attorney’s office recused itself from this most recent case.
"Given I am often before the County Commission asking for more positions, answering questions about crime issues [and] crime concerns, I felt it was in the best interest of the case and the prosecution for this office to recuse itself," said Attorney General Amy Weirich with the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.
Which caused them to reset today’s hearing.
“[They're] discussing the possibility for a special prosecutor, so nothing will happen before then," said Ford's defense attorney Coleman Garrett.
Ford’s been on commission since 2010 and one of the committees he’s on oversees funding for domestic violence.
Commissioners are scheduled to meet on Wednesday morning for their committee meetings starting at 8:30.
Ford has a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet. He’s scheduled to be back in court in two weeks.