Indicted State Representative Lashawn Ford says he filed a resolution in the House Friday, asking his colleagues to remain neutral on the federal charges against him, and to allow him to continue serving in the 8th district.
The 40-year-old politician and real estate investor faces 17 counts of bank fraud, each carrying a maximum of 30 years in prison and a million-dollar fine.
They include eight counts of fraud and nine of submitting false information to a failed financial institution called ShoreBank.
The feds are also asking the Illinois lawmaker to hand over more than $800,000 dollars.
“These charges that are brought against me today are charges that someone believes that they understand how things operated in the business that I ran,” Ford said.
Although the charges pre-date his time in office, there are allegations Ford gave the bank false statements to get a half-million dollar extension on a line of credit.
The charges state that instead of using that credit for its intended purpose, his real estate business, Ford used it to pay off car loans, casino debt, and even expenses from his 2006 campaign.
Ford says he’s innocent, and plans to prove it.
As for his political future, Ford says he’ll meet with house speaker Mike Madigan to discuss his next move, but has no plans to resign his seat in the Illinois House.