As he faces a 17-count indictment on bank fraud and related charges, State Rep. LaShawn Ford could find he still has a lot of community support.
According to oakpark.com, an event page on Facebook is urging supporters of the 8th District representative to show up at his arraignment, slated for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 11 at the Everett Dirksen Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn St.
The presiding judge at that hearing will be Rebecca Pallmeyer.
A federal grand jury on Nov. 29 Thursday indicted the Chicago Democrat in connection with allegedly trying to fraudulently obtain a $500,000 increase and a two-year extension on a line of credit from the failed ShoreBank.
He also allegedly tried to obtain multiple advances by making false statements about his intended use of the funds.
The 24-page indictment includes eight counts for bank fraud and nine for submitting false information.
The 40-year-old Ford, who operated Ford Desired Real Estate, Inc., and also invested personally in real estate, purportedly obtained bank funds to rehabilitate specific investment properties in the city, but instead used the funds to pay unrelated expenses, including, car loans, credit cards, other mortgages held at ShoreBank, payments to a casino in Hammond, Ind., and for his 2006 campaign for Illinois State Representative.
The charges do not involve Ford’s position as a state legislator after he was first elected in 2006,
Ford has represented Oak Park and the west side of Chicago, among other communities, in the General Assembly since 2007. He was re-elected to another term just last month.
After his indictment Ford told his constituents that he believed he was innocent of the charges and would meet with them in the evening and on Friday morning at his Chicago office.
In addition, Ford late last week said he was filing a resolution asking Illinois House members to allow him to continue serving the 8th District.
In a press release issued Friday, Ford also would ask his colleagues to remain neutral on his legal woes.
As of Wednesday morning, the resolution has not been filed, according to a staff member in the House Journal Room.