Joe Ford Sr. was arrested Tuesday morning for passing a bad check in July 2012 to a Memphis liquor store in the amount of $1,300, which is a felony, a Memphis city official said.
Police said they received a false pretenses and swindle report on Jan. 14 from the manager at Lauderdale Liquors. The manager said on July 20, 2012, Ford wrote a check on the Joe Ford Funeral Home account in the amount of $1,301.23.
The check was returned on Aug. 15, 2012 as non-sufficient funds and Lauderdale Liquors sent several notices to Ford in an attempt to collect the funds, police said. On Jan. 8, 2013, detectives contacted Ford and advised him of the complaint to have the funds paid to the store owner which was never done after saying he would take care of it.
A warrant for his arrest was issued Feb. 4 and he was taken into custody at his residence Tuesday morning by a fugitive apprehension team.
He was charged with Passing Bad Checks over $1,000 and Theft of Property over $1,000. His bond was set at $5,000. Ford is expected to make his first appearance in Shelby County General Sessions Court on Wednesday.
This isn't the first time Ford has had problems with bounced checks.
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In 2004 Ford was sued by Las Savell Jewelry in Shelby County General Sessions Court for a bounced check in the amount of $9,300.
In August of 2010 the Shelby County government covered a bounced check in the amount of $1,300 written by Ford for catering related to a luncheon for county commissioners and staff.
Ford was also arrested in 2011 on charges involving two Rolex watches he purchased from Las Savell Jewelry store. Those charges were eventually dismissed after he settled with the jewelry store.
Ford is a former Memphis city councilman, Shelby County councilman and Shelby County interim mayor. He was processed at 201 Poplar Ave., downtown just after 8 a.m. He emerged from the justice center after spending several hours behind bars looking haggard and defiant.
"I have no comment," he said as he walked out with family members.
He refused to address his current charges.
"I don't know what the charge was," he said. "I don't have any comment. I don't owe the news media or anybody an explanation of why I was here. I'm not in politics. I don't have to report to nobody but my family and God. I owe you all no explanation."
Ford has had a history of writing bad checks, often for high dollar items. It will be once again up to a judge to decide if this was indeed a misunderstanding.
"I don't owe you anything," he said.
FOX13 News reporter Darcy Thomas contributed to this report.
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