Commissioner Justin Ford back to work a day after pleading in court

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Embattled Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford attended his first County Commission committee meeting less than 24 hours after he pleaded in a domestic violence case.

Ford was accused of beating and choking his girlfriend outside Church's Chicken in the Medical District in April.

Originally, he was facing aggravated assault, a felony carrying up to 15 years in prison, and was also facing a false imprisonment charge.

On Tuesday he took an Alford plea, a misdemeanor, maintaining his innocence but admitting the state has enough evidence against him.

Fresh off his day in court, Ford was the one calling the shots on Wednesday.

He wasn't at the meeting long and controlled the discussion of several resolutions he sponsored.

Moments after the meeting was over WREG attempted to talk to Ford on camera at the desks where commissioners sit but were told we weren’t allowed, despite another reporter already speaking to him at his desk.

WREG tried other avenues to communicate with the commissioner, but he didn’t want to talk to us.

However, several of his colleagues did speak.

They said an executive, closed-door meeting was held discussing Ford, saying because he pleaded to a misdemeanor the commission has no say in what happens with his role.

"To my understanding there are three entities that could take something further if they wanted to and that would be the attorney general of the state, the district attorney general of the county, and the county attorney, " explained Commissioner Heidi Shafer.

As far as Shafer's personal feelings, she said this is a tough case.

"I’m not God. I’m not judge and jury. I’m a fellow commissioner. We want our commissioners to be held to the highest standards. Me too, but we’re all humans and what we’ve done is what we’re allowed to do so far," she said.

Commissioner Van Turner also weighed in.

“The commission does not elect Mr. Ford to office. The citizens of his district do. So it’s probably more appropriate for him to speak to his citizens and his district," he said.

We reached out to the state attorney general to see if they’re reviewing Ford’s case but have not heard back.

Locally, when it comes to where they stand, District Attorney Amy Weirich said, “ I have given that no thought."

The county attorney said no comment.

Ford was ordered to 11 months, 29 days probation as well as anger management classes.

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