A state circuit judge on Monday agreed to reduce the weekly restitution a former Charleston senator must pay for an ethics-related conviction last year.
An attorney for former State Sen. Robert Ford said the one-time Democratic senator had not been able to afford his current $1,735 per month repayment schedule. A different judge sentenced Ford in May 2015 to five years probation, community service and $69,000 restitution.
The state Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole Services said Ford is nearly $9,000 in arrears of his repayment schedule one year later.
The Charleston Post & Courier reports Circuit Judge Brian Gibbons on Monday agreed to a negotiated reduction of $500 per month. Ford would pay that amount for the next six months before the payments increase to $550 per month.
Ford resigned from the state Senate in 2013 amid accusations he had misused campaign money to buy gym memberships, car payments, and adult entertainment. The senator insisted the items had been gifts for staff. Two years later, he agreed to plead guilty to two counts of False Reporting, one for Misconduct, and another for Forgery.