MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A high ranking Memphis fire chief is expected to spend her holidays in jail. A judge revoked bond for Sandra Richards, who is accused of forging the will of former Tennessee State Representative Ulysses Jones.
Two other firefighters charged in connection with the crime have been relived of duty, with pay, pending the outcome of an administrative hearing. The women are facing forgery, perjury and tampering with evidence charges.
Family members of the late Ulysses Jones say the charges are long overdue. Ulysses Jones III said being patient hasn't been easy.
Seven months ago, a civil court judge ruled firefighter Sandra Richards, Beverly Prye and Avis Langford-Brannon forged the will of the late representative.
Ever since then, family members have been waiting for criminal charges to follow.
"There was sufficient evidence from the beginning," said Jones III. "After you had the trial judge's decision, I don't know what more you would need."
The family accuses Richards of trying to cash in on the Jones estate.
"Basically what you're seeing is someone who will go to great lengths to lie, fabricate, and generally deceive."
Prye and Brannon are now out of jail and off the job. Richards' bond was revoked, and she isn't expected to go before a judge until after the first of the year.
Lt. Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department stated, "At this point her status is pending. We have not been able to get in contact with her since her arrest."
The Jones family has been critical of the Memphis Fire Department for not taking disciplinary action against the women from the beginning. The forged will has been "under investigation" by the fire department for seven months.
"There has been an ongoing investigation," Cooke said. "It's never been concluded; it's still in the process."
Family members are convinced political connections allowed the trio the opportunity to keep their jobs when other firefighters have been terminated for much less.
"It's kind of interesting these three people were allowed to stay on the job after the trial, and the evidence seems like they're getting special treatment," Jones surmised.
Two other people connected to the forged will have also been indicted. So far they have not been arrested.