State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford was indicted Thursday for making false statements to a bank and misusing funds intended to rehab properties in his district. He later blasted the charges as false, telling The Chicago Reporter: “I am not a person of scandal.”
Ford is accused of giving ShoreBank false tax returns to increase his line of credit by $500,000 and obtain a two-year extension on his credit, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. He allegedly got the money that was supposed to be for fixing buildings and used it instead for personal expenses such as credit cards, car loans, mortgages and for his 2006 campaign for his state office.
Ford told us, it’s simply not true.
"I kept every project that I had with the bank,” he said. “There was never a property that I did not completely fix. They can't go to a property and say, 'Look at this. This property was left abandoned,' because there aren't any."
The charges don’t involve his work as a state legislator after his election in 2006.
“There’s not a hint of scandal in my record, because I am not a person of scandal," Ford said. "If I were a person of scandal, I would have been indicted a long time ago.”
Ford, whose 8thDistrict includes the city’s West Side and many western suburbs, was re-elected this month for his third term.
In a recent interview with the Reporter, Ford said one of his priorities in office would be diverting lottery funds to cash-strapped schools. It was not clear Thursday whether his indictment would affect his work in the House.
The full text of his indictment can be found here.
*Photo from Rep. LaShawn K. Ford's web site.