Joe Ford took questions about a bounced check for a luncheon he hosted as interim mayor after his theft charge for writing a bad check for 2 Rolex watches was dismissed Friday. While he didn't shy away from questions regarding the bill taxpayers ended up paying for, he didn't exactly answer them either.
"There's nothing to ask about. The county paid for it. It was county employees," he said.
When it was pointed out that he said he would pay for it, and then wrote a check that bounced, Ford replied "Why would I pay for it? 125 county employees. Think about it. It would not have been my responsibility, Ms. Devereaux, to pay for 125 county employees. It's a no brainer."
It may be a "no brainer," but according to a county memo Ford said he would pay for a catered lunch on August 19, 2010. The county has the $1,300 lunch invoiced as being for 75, not 125 County Commissioners and members of Ford's staff.
The same documentation shows ford wrote a personal check to Ziparo's Catering for the amount, which Ziparo's and the county confirm later bounced.
When Ford was told of the returned check, the county said he said he would take care of it right away. However the caterer never got the money and called the county for advice on what to do next.
"We had a businessman out $1,300 and after call, after call, after call, plus the fact it was on our property, we viewed it as a county event and decided to pay the bill," said Steve Shular, spokesperson for Mayor Mark Luttrell.
If you talk to Ford now, he too views his appreciation luncheon as a county event, never acknowledging he committed to paying for it and then passed a bad check.
The county says they would have paid for it to begin with, to which he replied "They did pay for it."