Reaction To John Ford Bribery Verdict - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Reaction To John Ford Bribery Verdict

Gray Sasser Gray Sasser

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The day of John Ford's arrest in 2005, lawmakers, lobbyists and constituents alike were all watching television, watching the developments unfold.

No doubt Friday's verdict was of equal interest.

The former state Senator from the famous Ford family now stands convicted of a crime.

Word of his bribery conviction late Friday afternoon spread quickly throughout the Capitol.

"This just goes to show that if you are in a position of public trust and you do break the law, consequences are dramatic," said Gray Sasser, chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Sasser said this case shouldn't be looked at as a partisan issue. Members of both parties feel the best way to gain the trust of Tennesseans is to clean up corruption on Capitol Hill.

"What it does go to show that the efforts of the Democrats in the state Senate and the state House and Gov. Phil Bredesen leading that charge for real good ethics reform," Sasser said. "We now can out this chapter in Tennessee behind us and move on to the future with even greater confidence in our government."

In a statement released late Friday afternoon, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said, "A cloud has been lifted from the Capitol and a troubled time in our state's history moves closer to an end. This was a necessary step in restoring trust in the Legislature. "

Ford still has more legal trouble ahead. He faces unrelated federal charges in Nashville on accusations he took $800,000 in improper payments from state contractors.

He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

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