Ward Crutchfield

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Ward Crutchfield
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 10th district
In office
January 8, 1985 – July 27, 2007
Preceded by Bill Ortwein
Succeeded by Andy Berke
In office
January 7, 1963 – January 3, 1967
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from Hamilton County
In office
January 2, 1961 – January 7, 1963
Preceded by Z. Cartter Patten, Jr.
Succeeded by Arvin H. Reingold
In office
January 7, 1957 – January 5, 1959
Preceded by J. Fred Johnson, Jr.
Succeeded by Z. Cartter Patten, Jr.
Personal details
Born William Ward Crutchfield
(1928-12-06)December 6, 1928
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Died April 3, 2016(2016-04-03) (aged 87)
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Catherine
Joan Nunley (m. 1966)
Alma mater University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Occupation Lawyer
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1953–1954

William Ward Crutchfield (December 6, 1928 – April 3, 2016) was an American politician and a Democratic member of the Tennessee Senate for the 10th district, which encompasses Marion County and part of Hamilton County. He was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1957 to 1959 and 1961 to 1963. He served as a state senator from 1963 to 1967 as well as in all General Assemblies from 1987 to 2007.

Crutchfield was a member of the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee; Senate Commerce, Labor, and Agriculture; and the Senate Education Committee. He was Chairman of the Senate Labor Committee during the 83rd and 84th General Assemblies. He served as the Democratic leader during the 101st through 103rd General Assemblies, and he was a Senate Democratic Caucus chairman.

He attended the University of Chattanooga (now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) and received a J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville in 1951. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. He is a former member of the Metropolitan Government Charter Commission. He worked as an attorney, having once been an acting attorney for Hamilton County and an attorney for the Hamilton County Board of Education.

On May 26, 2005, Crutchfield was arrested as part of the Operation Tennessee Waltz bribery scandal. He was accused of taking US$12,000 from a front company of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in USA vs. Ward Crutchfield and Charles Love. On July 12, 2007, Crutchfield pleaded guilty to one count of bribery. He resigned from the State Senate on July 27, 2007,[1] and was succeeded by fellow Democrat Andy Berke. On January 17, 2008, he was sentenced to six months home confinement, two years probation, and a US$3,000 fine.[2] He died at the age of 87 in 2016.[3]


  1. ^ John Madewell (July 27, 2007). "Convicted Senator Crutchfield Submits Letter Of Resignation". Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Ward Crutchfield Gets Probation, 6 Months Home Confinement". The Chattanoogan. January 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  3. ^ Death of Ward Crutchfield[permanent dead link]