The Sun Herald, 12/6/7

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has avoided media requests for interviews since last week, when his legal ally in Hurricane Katrina insurance litigation was indicted for allegedly trying to bribe a judge.

Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, indicted Nov. 28, worked with Hood to negotiate a global settlement agreement for State Farm policyholders in 2006 and early 2007. Hood also named Scruggs as a “confidential informant” in the attorney general’s criminal investigation of State Farm. In his recent re-election campaign, Hood reported a $33,000 contribution from Scruggs.

The Sun Herald on Tuesday requested an interview with Hood, asking if he would at least respond to questions about how the Attorney General’s Office views allegations of judicial bribery and its enforcement responsibilities.

An obvious question also is whether Scruggs, who has pleaded innocent, continues to play any role in Hood’s criminal investigation.