Clarion-Ledger – ‘Teflon man,’ PL Blake, skates again

Federal prosecutors have ended their criminal investigation into political operative P.L. Blake in the judicial bribery scandal that imprisoned former trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs, according to those close to the probe.

Contacted about the decision, Blake’s attorney, Doug Jones of Birmingham, confirmed the matter involving his client had been closed, saying prosecutors declined to prosecute.

“We obviously are very pleased,” he said, adding that he felt with a fair review of the evidence that prosecutors would make the right decision.

“We appreciate Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Norman’s professionalism,” Jones said. “We’re pleased the matter is behind everybody, and life will go on.”

Norman would not comment Monday on the matter.

Since his imprisonment, Scruggs, 64, has settled litigation with his former law partner, Bob Wilson, of Jackson, in a case that ensnared former Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter in the federal judicial corruption probe.

Wilson’s attorney, Charlie Merkel of Clarksdale, said his client is “very happy” with that settlement. “It was a long time coming,” he said.

Informed of the end of the federal investigation into Blake, Merkel replied, “P.L. skates again. He’s the Teflon man. We all wish we could be paid that much to clip newspapers.”

Clarion-Ledger
6/22/10