Langston: State asks recovery of legal fees

State Auditor Phil Bryant has issued a demand letter for recovery of the $14 million in legal fees paid by MCI to two law firms in the wake of the state’s $110 million settlement with MCI in a 2005 tax fraud case.

Booneville attorney Joey Langston confirmed the demand for recovery from Bryant in a Monday e-mail exchange with this reporter while he was on an anniversary trip to Italy with his wife. Bryant also confirmed the demand letter in a telephone interview.

Bryant and Langston both said that Bryant’s demand letter was issued months ago and Bryant said his investigation into the matter began “almost a year ago” when his office issued a review of the MCI settlement on Oct. 19, 2006.

Bryant said he sent Attorney General Jim Hood a copy of the demand letter to Langston and a copy of a legal complaint he asked Hood to file “if necessary to recover the fees.”

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger
9/23/7