A Memphis judge on Thursday afternoon placed former state Sen. Ward Crutchfield on probation for two years for accepting a $3,000 payment in the "Tennessee Waltz" sting.
Judge J. Daniel Breen cited Crutchfield's age (79) and ill health in also sentencing him to six months of home confinement. He must pay a $3,000 fine.
The judge also cited his character in the past and the widespread support he had for his probation request. He said Crutchfield was not a threat for any further law violation, and he called it "a sad day."
Crutchfield, who was once Senate Majority Leader, apologized for doing "a stupid thing."
He said, ”I apologize to the court and to the people of Tennessee. It was a stupid thing I did and I am apologizing. It’s been one of the most terrible things I’ve gone through, I accept responsibility. I’m not trying to blame anyone else."
The judge said the federal prison system was not equipped to handle Crutchfield's medical problems.
Defense attorneys had sought probation, citing his age and health as well as his years of public service.
Among witnesses for Crutchfield were his wife, Bunnie; his physician and Judge Sam Payne.
The Crutchfields have been in Chattanooga since the Ross's Landing days, and Ward Crutchfield has long been a power in Democratic politics here and across the state.
He long served as the attorney for the Hamilton County School Board.
After his shocking indictment, he eventually resigned from the General Assembly and he lost his law license.