CL – Scandal tied to Scruggs nearing end DeLaughter’s sentencing – marks milestone, some say

Some have suggested Friday’s sentencing of former Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter marks the end of the judicial bribery scandal involving disbarred litigator Dickie Scruggs.

So far, the biggest judicial bribery scandal in Mississippi history has led to seven convictions, including Scruggs, who is now serving seven years in prison.

“We’re continuing to investigate,” remarked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Norman of Oxford, who would not comment further.

Norman has previously said authorities have yet to decide whether to seek an indictment against political operative P.L. Blake – a former football star for Mississippi State University who earned $50 million from the state’s tobacco settlement by clipping newspapers and assessing political activity for Scruggs.

Blake’s name arose shortly after the 2007 arrests of Scruggs, then-lawyer Tim Balducci, former State Auditor Steve Patterson and others in the attempt to get Lafayette County Circuit Judge Henry Lackey to rule in Scruggs’ favor in a $26.5 million legal fees dispute involving Hurricane Katrina litigation.

Read more by Jerry Mitchell in the Clarion Ledger