Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood finally surfaced today from a full week in hiding after several of his largest campaign contributors and one of his Special Assistant Attorneys General, Tim Balducci, were indicted on charges related to bribing a state court judge.
From the story . . .
Hood has also worked with Balducci in the past. He hired Langston’s firm to represent the state in collecting $100 million in back taxes from telecom giant MCI. Langston and Balducci were paid $14 million as part of the MCI settlement in May 2005.
Hood tried to distance himself from Balducci.
“Our contracts have been with the Langston Law Firm, not directly with Timothy Balducci,” Hood said through a spokeswoman. “His only involvement with our office is in whatever tasks he was assigned by his employer.”
However, there is a truckload of evidence that said that Hood’s connections to Balducci were directly engaging in nature and that Balducci and Langston were law partners instead of employee/employer as Hood and Scruggs are desperately trying to spin through surrogates in the media.
According to the retention agreement in the MCI case listed on Langston’s own website, Hood retained the Langston Law Firm, but appointed Joey Langston and Tim Balducci individually as Special Assistant Attorneys General.
The Office of the Attorney General hereby retains the Langston Law Firm (“Law Firm”) and its principal members, Joseph C. Langston and Timothy R. Balducci, are hereby designated as Special Assistant Attorneys General to investigate, research, and file the Claims in anyt appropriate Court or Courts or before any appropriate governmental agency.
As a purely morbid sidenote, I’ll give you one guess as to the court jurisidction that the Zyprexa suit was filed. You got it! Lafayette County, Mississippi – the same jurisdiction as Jones v. Scruggs. Could it be a “magic jurisdiction”, perhaps?
All of the “wannabe” talk that Scruggs surrogates and General Hood are trying to spin on Balducci runs directly counter to even Langston’s own advertising. In a paid advertorial in Superlawyers, Langston represents Balducci as a “long term partner”.
Presently, The Langston Law Firm, anchored by longterm partners Langston and Tim Balducci, practice in the areas of class actions, mass torts, securities litigation, product liability, serious personal injury and selective medical malpractice.
The bottom line is that there is a long LONG trail that tie Tim Balducci, Joey Langston, Dickie Scruggs, Mike Moore and Jim Hood through prior legal partnerships, campaign contributions, and work awarded and any attempt to deconstruct those relationships will be politically and logistically difficult. Count on the fact that everyone on the Scruggs team (and now apparently Jim Hood) will continue to throw Balducci under the bus. They may be successful, in part, but I am betting that Balducci drags at least a couple of the aforementioned under the bus with him.