Info sought to clarify ex-DA’s role in $1B suit

A judge has ordered documents to be presented in court to determine whether former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters was hired by a Jackson company to try to influence Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter in a $1 billion lawsuit.

The Eaton Corp. v. Jeffrey Frisby is one of at least three cases the FBI said it is examining involving DeLaughter and Peters as part of its investigation into a judicial bribery scandal in Mississippi.

DeLaughter, a judge since 1999, once worked for Peters as a Hinds County assistant district attorney. The state Supreme Court suspended DeLaughter until complaints against him are resolved.

“To the extent a truthful answer to any part of this interrogatory would reveal intent on Eaton’s part to hire Ed Peters for the purpose of attempting to improperly influence a judicial officer, then it must be answered. The information concerning who was involved in the process is discoverable and must be answered,” Circuit Judge Swan Yerger ruled this month.

Frisby’s attorney, Ed Blackmon Jr., said there is strong circumstantial evidence Peters communicated with DeLaughter.

“We want a true story of what happened,” Blackmon said.

Blackmon and other attorneys for Frisby said rulings began going in favor of Eaton after Peters became involved in the case.

Clarion Ledger
7/29/08