Ex-DA Peters’ testimony revealed

Former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters thought about killing himself when the scandal involving trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs erupted, his grand jury testimony shows.

“I just want to say that I am sorry for the embarrassment that I’ve caused my profession and putting Bobby in this position and for putting you people in this position,” Peters told prosecutors and grand jurors during his Oct. 21, 2008, testimony. “You don’t know how close I’ve come to suicide.”

Peters’ testimony was made public this week by Scruggs’ attorneys as proof there was no quid pro quo, or exchange of something for something, between Peters and then-Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about how many times he spoke to Peters about a legal fees dispute that could have cost Scruggs more than $15 million.

DeLaughter’s attorney, Thomas Durkin of Chicago, said Wednesday, “We said all along there was no quid pro quo. That’s why Bobby would never plead guilty to the honest services mail fraud. He never betrayed the public trust.”

Clarion Ledger
10/6/11