[UPDATE] Local City Manager Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Quincy, FL --- May 22, 2012 --- 4:30p.m.

Midway's City Manager, Auburn Ford, was found guilty in a Gadsden County courtroom Tuesday of a felony and misdemeanor.

It took the 6 person jury, 30 minutes to find him guilty.

"We're obviously very happy with the outcome," said prosecutor Angelique Hutchins.

Ford was on trial for a misdemeanor assault charge and a felony charge for preventing or obstructing the extinguishment of a fire, stemming from a 2011 run-in with firefighters.

Fire Chief Chris Lance and two other firefighters showed up at Ford's home in Midway, telling him to put out the trash fire in his yard.

Lance told Ford they'd received a call about him burning the trash. There was a "no-burn after dark" rule in place. Lance said Ford was in violation of that rule.

Ford says he'd already put out the fire before the sun went down, and that it was only smoldering.

Ford says when he tried to take his shovel from one of the firefighters to put dirt on the fire, he was assaulted.

"I guess that was the opportunity for him [Chris Lance] to put me in a choke hold from the rear and all three of them took me to the ground," said Ford.

The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office investigate and didn't file charges.

Ford filed assault charges with the State Attorney's office but they were thrown out.

Fire Chief Chris Lance filed assault charges as well and those stuck.

Lance said in a police report that Ford swung at him and they had to hold him down until deputies could arrive.

Ford asserts he was only waving at them to get the flashlight out of his face.

However, a jury of his peers didn't see it that way.

Ten people took the stand in the trial that lasted a little more than a day.

Chief Lance wasn't one of them.

There will be a pre-sentencing investigation and Judge Jonathan Sjostrom asked both parties to meet during that time.

Sentencing is expected sometime in July.

Ford could face up to five years for the felony and just under a year for the misdemeanor.

Quincy, FL - May 22, 2012 - 11:15am

A local city manager has just been found guilty of felony and misdemeanor charges.

Eyewitness News was in the Gadsden County courtroom when he heard the verdict.

Auburn Ford became Midway's city manager after the incident more than a year ago. It started when he was burning trash in his yard.

Eyewitness News spoke to Ford last year after the incident. He said firefighters came to his home telling him to put out the trash fire and he said last year that he told them to leave. Ford told Eyewitness News last year that Fire Chief Lance jumped on his back and choked him, holding him down. Chief Lance reported that Ford swung at him. According to the police report, Ford swung at one of the firefighters. Ford was also in the hospital after that scuffle.

Ford was charged with a misdemeanor count of assaulting a firefighter and a felony for preventing or obstructing the firefighters from putting out the fire. The trial began Monday, and by 10:00am Tuesday, the six person jury began deliberating. It took about 30 minutes for them to come back with a verdict. The sentencing date will be in July.

Ford could face up to five years for the felony and just under a year for the misdemeanor.

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  • by Rob on May 28, 2012 at 02:16 AM
    There was another city manager in Sanford that should be scrutinized... He blamed the Chief of Police after Velma Williams said there was a cancer in the police department & he took her word for gold as well as the word of Benjamin Crump & Al Sharpton and many racist marchers. And he jumped to conclusions & he supported a resignation of the Chief of Police even though the Chief & the rest of the Police Force was actually doing a great job. He bended to Untrue pressures and was acting for the wrong racist & fraudulant reasons. The things they were saying & doing were not for real, like the 10 or 12 year old pictures of Trayvon Martin, but he went along with them and was slamming the department just as the mobs were strong-arming him to do... and he bended to it. We could use a new city manager down there !!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Around on May 23, 2012 at 05:53 PM
    This man Ford stole grant money from an OES and Masonic lodge. He may have done wrong so many time, but now he will pay for it all. I guess he can meet Jesus and repent while behind bars.
  • by Anonymous Location: Around on May 23, 2012 at 05:43 PM
    The question is where does Midway stand now. I guess Midway will not stand to much longer. Ford was hired to steal grant money, but his dreams were cut short Tuesday.
  • by Anonymous Location: Around on May 23, 2012 at 05:40 PM
    Mr. Ford needs to resign and face his prison time. His self appointed chief is a criminal also. He's tested positive for drugs in his system when he was employed by Young.
  • by Pepperhill Boi Location: Tampa on May 23, 2012 at 02:03 PM
    You people are delusional, he was not the City Manager when this incident happen, he was hired after the fact. Sadly, you were not there when they attacked this man.....
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 05:33 PM in reply to Pepperhill Boi
      So, you are feeling sorry for felon Ford.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 05:49 PM in reply to Pepperhill Boi
      I guess after he comes out of prison, he will run for city council person. Well, he will have time to think in prison what he can do to get back with the court.
  • by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM
    Please…this is nothing new. You have convicted felons work at the fire dept., so why should this be any different?
    • reply
      by In the know on May 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM in reply to
      Not any more. They got rid of him.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 05:50 PM in reply to In the know
        Who? Ford!!!!!!!!
        • reply
          by In the know on May 24, 2012 at 09:14 AM in reply to
          No felon with the Fire department
  • by Taj Location: Tallahassee on May 23, 2012 at 09:16 AM
    I was not there at the time of this incident or for this hearing, so I will reserve comment about anything related to the legal aspects.But I would like to say that in my limited dealings with Mr. Ford that he has been kind professional,& he seems to have a real concern with improving the lives of the citizens of Midway!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 05:36 PM in reply to Taj
      How do you come to that ideal? He's a real moron and now a newly felon. Get Ford out of the office.
  • by Ex- Police Officer Midway Location: Around on May 23, 2012 at 06:16 AM
    To All of Ford supporters, Remember he had his due process of law in court. They gave him a trail and he lost. That's the bottom line, he is guitly as charged. You do the crime, you have to do the time. He did not care about us. So, he was too good of a person. He is not babove the law. Oh, I bet he is saying now, if I could just turn back the hand of time.
    • reply
      by Correction on May 23, 2012 at 08:22 AM in reply to Ex- Police Officer Midway
      He is not above the law.
  • by Ex- Police Officer Midway Location: Around on May 23, 2012 at 06:00 AM
    Ford, you had your hands involved in the dirty deals against Salter, Cummingham, Williams, Lance and others Officers. It's all good, at lease we are not looking at prison time. Ford, remember this one thing, what goes around will come around but worst. I was there when Ford knew he was going to become City Manager sitting in the back smiling and taking notes getting ready to do his dirt when he came into office. It's funny now to know when you talked to Ford, he did not care about other feeling. After I saw him leaving court, he was looking pitiful but he's guilty as charged. I noticed he had his maron Chief with him, what did he think Lindey was going to do. There's a song out called Mr. Pitiful. Ford, you need to but it.
    • reply
      by Correct on May 23, 2012 at 08:22 AM in reply to Ex- Police Officer Midway
      You need to buy it.
  • by glad I don't live there on May 22, 2012 at 08:57 PM
    moved here in 1987, seems the headline is always the same every few years when it comes to midway
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