Judge rules against Eaton

“It’s a good day for justice in Mississippi,” Alan Perry, an attorney for Frisby, said of Yerger’s decision.

Eaton spokesman Don McGrath said Peters became involved in 2007. The suit was filed in July 2004.

“We in no way asked Ed Peters to try to influence Judge DeLaughter or any other judge,” McGrath said Thursday. “Eaton is a value-based organization…We’re very disappointed in the decision.”

McGrath said it shouldn’t be forgotten that the case’s central issue is the theft of thousands of documents with trade secrets developed at the company’s Jackson operation that were taken to a competitor.

Yerger said contrary to Eaton’s claim of being victimized by Peters’ allegedly unauthorized misconduct, Eaton is not the true victim.

“Instead the true victim is the justice system and its integrity,” Yerger, who ends his time on the bench today, said in a 26-page ruling.

DeLaughter pleaded guilty in 2009 in federal court in Oxford to obstruction of justice for lying to an FBI agent about communication with Peters in an unrelated case. DeLaughter began serving an 18-month federal prison sentence in January 2010 and is scheduled to be released in April.

Clarion Ledger
12/31/10