Ward Crutchfield Dead at 87

Ward Crutchfield, a former Tennessee Senate Majority leader who served in the General Assembly for 31 years before he was convicted of bribery, has died.

His wife Joan “Bunny” Crutchfield said her husband died Sunday at a Chattanooga hospital. He was 87.

His death was first reported in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Lauded for his devotion to his constituents, Crutchfield had already lost his majority leader post in May 2005, when he was caught up in an FBI sting code-named Tennessee Waltz. He pleaded guilty to bribery in 2007, acknowledging he took $3,000 in FBI money.

He was sentenced to two years in prison and a $3,000 fine. But given his age and poor health, he was allowed to serve six months of home confinement instead of incarceration.

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