Barbour spokesperson says he only offered the Senate seat to U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker

Leisha Pickering’s lawsuit says that when Republican Trent Lott resigned from the U.S. Senate in December 2007, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour offered the seat to Chip Pickering, who declined. Barbour spokesman Laura Hipp said Thursday that the governor only offered the Senate seat to U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker, who accepted it.

The lawsuit contends that Creekmore Byrd gave Chip Pickering an ultimatum, saying their relationship could not continue if he became a senator because he would have to stay married.

“Ultimately, Creekmore Byrd gave Pickering the option to remain a public servant or become a private citizen and continue relations with her,” the lawsuit says.

The voice mail box at Creekmore Byrd’s home was full Thursday and messages left for her divorce attorney were not immediately returned.

Creekmore Byrd, 45, is a member of Mississippi’s wealthy Creekmore family, founders of the Cellular South phone company.

Creekmore Byrd and several relatives and Cellular South executives donated to Pickering while he was in Congress, and he had kind words for the company at a 2007 subcommittee hearing where invited speakers included Cellular South president Victor Meena.

AP
7/16/9