by: Bria Jones
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A two-year investigation into Shelby County Commissioner Edmund Ford Jr. for the misuse of public funds is what prompted the feds to raid his family home in Whitehaven early Thursday morning.
The search warrant was the result of a $450,000 grant given to Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South in 2019. The non-profit reportedly bought $45,000 worth of computers from Ford’s business.
However, Ford allegedly did not disclose the dealings. Due to a conflict of interest, the case was then sent to District Attorney General Robert Carter in Middle Tennessee.
“We were asked to handle this matter as a pro tem prosecutor back in March of 2021. We’ve been working on the investigation since then,” Carter said.
A statement that County Mayor Lee Harris’ office sent Thursday regarding the matter says: “… the mayor has been working for some time to advance a series of local reforms and breathe new life into the county’s ethics ordinance.”
Friday WREG pressed county officials about the issue but were told they were not making any comments about Commissioner Ford.
But Chief Administrative Officer Harold Collins eventually elaborated on the mayor’s intentions for the ethics ordinance.
“Well that’s something that the mayor has been pushing and trying to get done for a long time,” Collins said. “The ethics ordinance only prescribes that elected and appointed officials adhere to policies that does not bring reproach upon Shelby County government.”
The Junior Achievement of Memphis office was closed Friday, but a spokesperson previously said they are cooperating with authorities.
We also returned to the Ford home for their side of the story. No one answered, but we were greeted with Bible scripture taped to the door — sending a message that, while at the center of a federal investigation, they’re now falling back on their faith.
District Attorney Robert Carter would not say why the feds are involved in the investigation or what they were looking for, but said more search warrants will possibly be served.