Judge Reflects on Bribery Scheme

Judge Lackey said he still doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.

“Sometimes I think it’s about like praising the chancery clerk for not stealing,” said Lackey.

The judge isn’t unappreciative; he said he simply remembers his oath to uphold the law.

First appointed to the bench in 1993 by Gov. Kirk Fordice, Lackey has been re-elected four times since. He said he will never forget Timothy Balducci trying to buy his ruling.

“I really couldn’t believe it,” said Lackey. “I hoped against hope that it wasn’t true and it wouldn’t play out as it did. They didn’t have to take a short cut; they were bright, articulate.”

Except in his mind, he had no other choice but to report the bribe. And over the next several months, Dickie Scruggs, Sidney Backstrom, and Zach Scruggs would all receive jail time. Still, Lackey said he thinks the state is better for what happened.

“I think we’re stronger. I really do. A bad apple or two can ruin the barrel but that corruption has been rooted out,” Lackey said.

WTOK
12/1/8