Hinds DA meets with former DA Peters

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith met Tuesday at a small restaurant in a Jackson suburb with one of his predecessors – a man linked to a high-profile federal judicial bribery scheme.

During a telephone interview Tuesday, Smith initially wouldn’t say why he met with former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters, who has been called an unindicted coconspirator in the biggest federal bribery investigation in Mississippi in years.

“It’s nothing sinister,” Smith said, adding there is nothing improper about meeting with a witness who has been “granted immunity” in a federal case.

After initially declining to say what they discussed, Smith later called The Associated Press to say the two were talking about a letter Smith wrote to Hinds County judges about race issues. Smith said the letter was published in the media last month and Peters called him to discuss the way different issues arise for white district attorneys as opposed to black ones. Peters is white and Smith is black. Smith said they decided to meet at a restaurant in Brandon in Rankin County owned by Peters’ son. Both men live in neighboring Hinds County.

Peters’ attorney did not immediately respond to a message

Clarion Ledger
2/24/9