Yes, the FORDS --brothers John and Edmund--are in trouble again in Memphis.
Former State Sen. John Ford's Rolex watch was the topic at a hearing Tuesday in Memphis. Federal prosecutors want to use the $40,000 watch to show that John is prone to taking gifts/bribes in return for political favors.
John Ford once claimed it was a "gift" from wealthy developer Rusty Hyneman. Later, his attorney said John had been bragging excessively and that Ford actually got the watch through a not-so-even-steven trade with Hyneman.
Whatever happened with the Rolex, Hyneman doesn't want to discuss it. At Tuesday's hearing, Hyneman repeatedly "took the Fifth" and refused to discuss the watch.
While John was at his hearing, his brother Edmund Ford, Memphis City Councilman, was also facing additional problems related to his conduct in office. In December 2006, Edmund Ford was indicted on federal bribery charges. Rusty Hyneman, the very same individual who gave, traded, or bribed brother John Ford with a Rolex watch, is also involved in some of the charges against Edmund Ford.
Now, federal prosecutors are looking into Edmund Ford's utility bills. It seems that Edmund doesn't pay his utility bills, but Memphis Light Gas and Water lets it slide. Edmund was chairman last year of the council committee that oversees the MLG&W budget and spending.
Carol Chumney, a member of the Memphis City Council, asked: "As the regulatory authority, we do have some responsibility....Are different people being treated differently at MLGW? That's something we need to know."
In other words, if everyone's bills (including Edmund Ford's) slide by, that's one thing. But if City Councilman Edmund Ford is getting special treatment, that's another.
There appears to be a lot going on that the Memphis City Council and the public need to know.
Same thing in Morristown and Hamblen County. The comparisons are coming. Clean-ups only begin when the cover-ups end.