Ford Ordered to Begin Prison Sentence Within Two Months

By Bill Dries

Former State Senator John Ford was ordered today to begin in the next two months serving his five-and-a-half-year prison sentence on a bribery charge.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Breen made his ruling on the second day of a hearing that involved who will care for Ford’s children with his ex-wife Tamara Mitchell Ford.

Breen delayed Ford’s prison report date last year after his ex-wife lost custody of the children and began serving a prison sentence for drunk driving. Thursday, her attorneys told Breen she will probably remain in prison on that and another drunk-driving conviction at least until May 2009.

“In some respects, we are back to the same situation we were in November,” Breen said. “The sentence should be imposed and served.”

After the hearing it was unclear whether the federal Bureau of Prisons would assign Ford a new prison or still have him report to the federal facility in Anthony, Texas, that was originally assigned.

Ford’s trial on a second set of corruption charges is scheduled to begin in Nashville federal court in June. Prosecutors in the Memphis case have said Ford could be transferred to a federal prison near Nashville during the trial and continue to serve his sentence.