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(Story created: 8/31/07)
Former state Sen. John Ford now faces 5½ years in federal prison, after being sentenced last week on bribery charges.
The once-powerful and always-outspoken Ford was contrite as he begged the judge for mercy for his role in the FBI's Operation Tennessee Waltz.
"During that trial, I was completely offended with myself, just completely ashamed of myself," Ford told U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen.
But long before the feds put him in the spotlight, the Memphis Democrat had been the focus of several investigations by NewsChannel 5 chief investigative reporter Phil Williams -- and Ford was anything but contrite.
Take, for example, our investigation of Ford's personal use of the state's FedEx account back in 2003. Here's an excerpt of the original "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" report:
NewsChannel 5 also caught Ford misusing money from his campaign accounts. Phil discovered that an expenditure, listed by Ford as having gone to "Awesome Videos," actually went to "Awesome Wedding Videos" for his daughter's wedding.
But what made that story especially memorable was when "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" obtained a copy of the wedding video.
Perhaps most revealing was Ford's quip at the wedding about his sources of income. "For those of you who wonder what I do, stop wondering," he deadpanned, drawing laughs from the crowd.