Jim Hood speaks! (on Mississippi public radio)

At 8:35 on Mississippi edition (which will be online later), five minutes of interview with Hood was played. Asked about Scruggs, Hood said, “I know him from cases we have worked on together. I think he did a great service to the state in his” suit in the tobacco cases. “He helped a lot of people on the coast in the insurance litigation. These crimes of which he is accused were certainly a surprise to me.” He said he was going to describe difference between what Scruggs was doing in the indivudal cases and says “State Farm was trying to get me to” stop the criminal case to get a settlement on the civil case. Hood was determined to put the case before the grand jury. Hood was emailed by the prosecutors on Friday night after three days of testimony before the grand jury and they said they had a problem with proof. That’s when the decision was made not to indict State Farm.

If Mike Moore could not talk him into signing on for the civil settlement, no one else could, “especially someone who was a public defender I tried cases against.” (I’m tyring to remember if there really was a time Hood was DA and Balducci public defender; I can’t remember whether Hood was DA more than one term, 1996-2000. Balducci was public defender to about 1996 I think). Hood noted Judge Lackey was in his district.