Testimony Ends In Ford Corruption Trial - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Testimony Ends In Ford Corruption Trial

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal prosecutor told a Nashville jury Wednesday that former state Sen. John Ford of Memphis had a duty to the people of Tennessee but chose instead to serve himself.

However, Ford's attorney asked jurors not to return a conviction only because his client may be controversial.

Ford, who did not testify, is accused of taking more than $800,000 to use his position as a senator to advance the interests of two companies who were TennCare contractors for the state.

Both sides gave their closing arguments in the federal corruption trial Wednesday afternoon, with jury instructions to be given Thursday morning.

Prosecutor David Rivera told the packed courtroom that Ford used his position of public trust to profit and line his own pockets.

But Ford's attorney, Isaiah "Skip" Gant, said prosecutors wanted the jury to make the jump that Ford was guilty based on their possible perceptions that the ex-lawmaker is a bad person.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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