The Clarion-Ledger, 2/12/9

With a standing-room-only crowd, Chancery Judge Larry Buffington on Wednesday explained to Simpson County supervisors his rationale for ordering them to hire former state Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. as a Youth Court public defender.

“Oliver is a friend, but there was no quid pro quo,” Buffington said at the meeting in the supervisors’ board room at the Chancery Court building.

Buffington, of Collins, had told The Clarion-Ledger he called the meeting because he wanted to know who in the county was upset with his order and who had contacted the media about it.

The judge subpoenaed the two Republican members of the Board of Supervisors and ordered the other three Democratic supervisors to be present. But before the meeting, he quashed the subpoenas for supervisors Pete Lowery and Randy Moore, both of whom had hired Jackson lawyer Andy Taggart to represent them.