Group to query judge’s actions

The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, which met Friday, wants the investigation to examine DeLaughter’s actions in the case in which he ruled in 2006 in favor of Scruggs, who faces a federal trial on unrelated bribery charges.

“If they had not called for a full investigation, it would give the whole state pause as to whether the judicial system does anything to police itself,” said Clarksdale lawyer Charlie Merkel, whose client lost to Scruggs in that case.

Reached Friday, Brant Brantley, executive director for the commission, remarked, “I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any complaint or whether there is any type of ongoing investigation.”

DeLaughter could not be reached for comment, but he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and said he is cooperating with authorities: “I know I didn’t take a bribe.”

Meanwhile, the FBI continues to investigate the unfolding judicial bribery scandal in Mississippi.

Jerry Mitchell
Clarion Ledger