The subcommittee of the Senate Ethics Committee found that there was a probable
cause for the full Ethics Committee to proceed on charges against Senator
John Ford. The charge is that Senator Ford did not disclose a major source of
income on his Senate Disclosure Statement. Senator Ford's tax returns show
$237,000 in income from a company doing business with TennCare; yet he did not
disclose any dealings with this company.
Interestingly, in 1996 Senator Ford asked for and received an Attorney
General's opinion on this very issue. The Attorney General told him then that
it was unethical and potentially illegal.
This coming week, the full Ethics Committee will meet to determine whether to
bring the matter before the full Senate. If the Committee refers the matter to
the Senate, Senator Ford has 20 days to respond. This timing would put any
action by the full Senate around April 1. At that point, the Senate, as a full
body, has complete authority to take whatever action it wishes.