For the second time this year, a member of the Illinois House has been charged with a crime. The US Attorney's Office announced yesterday that Representative LaShawn Ford is accused of bank fraud.
IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports:
Earlier this week, Representative LaShawn Ford was business as usual. Like when he spoke up in a committee about a struggling healthcare provider in his district.
"That's why I support this measure. Circle Family Healthcare is closing their doors and they're not able to see people in their community, in Austin."
Now, he's facing a 17-count indictment. Ford's accused of lying to a bank in 2006 and '07 about how he'd use a half-million dollar line of credit. Ford, a real estate developer, was supposed to use the money to rehabilitate buildings. Instead, prosecutors allege he used it to pay credit cards, to make payments to an Indiana casino, AND to pay for the 2006 campaign that won him a seat in the Illinois House. State board of elections records show Ford put nearly $175 thousand dollars of his own money into his campaign.
The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform's David Morrison says that's a lot.
"A hundred grand, $175,000 of their own money, you don't see that very often in these kinds of races."
In a statement to constituents, Ford says he's innocent. He's the second Chicago Democrat serving in the House to be indicted this year.
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