Appeals court overturns some John Ford convictions

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has overturned former state Sen. John Ford's convictions for concealing material facts and wire fraud.

Ford was convicted in 2008 in Nashville for failing to disclose payments he accepted from contractors with TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program, while promoting their interests as a lawmaker.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled Thursday the federal government didn't have jurisdiction even though TennCare receives federal funds because the disclosure was required by the state Senate and Tennessee's election finance registry. Those are state entities.

Ford was sentenced to 14 years on the two charges. He is still serving a 5 1/2 -year federal sentence on an unrelated bribery conviction.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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