The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 1/23/9

Admitted judicial bribery conspirators Timothy Balducci and Steven A. Patterson will know Feb. 13 if federal prison time is in their futures.

The date for the sentencing by U.S. District Senior Judge Neal Biggers Jr. was announced Thursday.

It’s the culmination of the judicial bribery drama now known as Scruggs I, an attempt to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey. Guilty pleas came eventually from then-Oxford attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, his lawyer son Zach, their law partner Sidney Backstrom, then-attorney Balducci and Patterson, a former state auditor and political operator.

Balducci and Patterson lived in New Albany when the indictments came down Nov. 28, 2007. They quickly pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate.

The Scruggses and Backstrom lost the law licenses and are in prison. Balducci also has lost his law license; Patterson is not an attorney.