Lafayette judges asked off case before indictment of Scruggs

A little more than a week before a federal grand jury indicted prominent Mississippi trial lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, the state judge he allegedly attempted to bribe and two others recused themselves from presiding over the case from which the indictment sprung.

On Nov. 19, at least one of circuit judges Henry Lackey, Robert Elliott and Andrew Howorth signed a motion for recusal that asked for the appointment of a special judge to take on the case, Jones v. Scruggs.

Nine days later, Scruggs and two others from his firm, son Zack and Sidney Backstrom, were pegged as conspirators along with Timothy Balducci and Steven Patterson of Balducci and Patterson by the federal government.

The next day, Nov. 29, the order was finally entered in Lafayette Circuit Court by Circuit Clerk Mary Allison Busby. The order on file in Lafayette County appears to have been torn, taped and folded.

John O’Brien
Legal Newsline