Robert Ford hearing postponed

Former state Sen. Robert Ford

Former state Sen. Robert Ford’s unpaid restitution hearing tied to his campaign ethics case was postponed Monday after a replacement judge recused herself because she is one of his neighbors.

Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson was called on Monday morning after previously assigned Judge Thomas Hughston was scheduled to attend a funeral.

Jefferson did not want to hear the case because she lives near Ford in West Ashley, his attorney, Bill Runyon, said.

Ford was due in court to answer for his unpaid restitution. The S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services said Ford is in arrears more than $8,900 for the restitution he owes the state from his misdemeanor ethics case. He has an unpaid balance of more than $80,000.

Runyon said Ford has been unable to make the $1,800 per month payment and wanted to temporarily reset the figure to between $500 and $600 a month.

Ford is trying to make a comeback for his former Senate District 42 seat in the June Democratic primary by challenging incumbent Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston.

Ford was sentenced to probation last year after pleading guilty to misdemeanor ethics violations tied to spending political campaign money on himself for such things as car payments, department store purchases, restaurants, novelty shop items and other expenses.