Fmr. Senate Maj. Leader Crutchfield Dead At 87

Posted at 4:51 PM, Apr 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-03 17:51:01-04

Former Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Ward Crutchfield, who served in the General Assembly for 31 years before he was convicted of bribery, has died.

Crutchfield's wife, Joan "Bunny" Crutchfield, said her husband died Sunday at a Chattanooga hospital. He was 87.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Crutchfield had already lost his majority leader post in May 2005, when was caught up in an FBI sting code-named Tennessee Waltz. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to bribery, admitting he took $3,000 in FBI money.

He was sentenced to two years in prison and a $3,000 fine. But given his age and poor health, he was allowed to serve six months home confinement instead of incarceration.

Longtime political ally Paul Smith said Crutchfield really cared about the people he represented.