Memphis psychologist Roger Morgan guilty of federal crime of lying to the FBI

March 15, 2010

The last chapter in the Tennessee Waltz closed this morning when a psychologist linked to John Ford pleaded guilty to a felony count of lying to the FBI.

Dr. Roger Morgan now faces sentencing June 23 before U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald.

Morgan, 56, was caught on audiotape in 2005 speaking to Ford when the then-state senator was the under federal surveillance. On the tape, Ford asks Morgan, a friend, to help raise money for a legal defense fund and Morgan seeks Ford’s help in passing legislation to benefit psychologists.

Later questioned by the FBI, Morgan denied speaking to Ford. He was indicted in 2008, after prosecutors won convictions against Ford and other defendants in Operation Tennessee Waltz. Morgan was charged with making materially false statements. He pleaded guilty to one count of that indictment today.

“The tapes quite frankly were very clear what John Ford was asking for,’’ said Morgan’s attorney, William Massey. Asked if his client tried to bribe Ford, Massey said “absolutely not.’’

Morgan still faces possible action by the state licensing board.

Morgan first won a state license in 1998 with help from Ford. The licensing board originally refused to give Morgan a license, citing his educational record, but relented after Ford passed a carefully tailored-law.

 

Source: Marc Perrusquia, "Memphis psychologist pleads guilty to lying to FBI about John Ford," Commercial Appeal, March 15, 2010.

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