Suit against Scruggs implicates ‘former U.S. Senator’

A new lawsuit against incarcerated plaintiffs attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs accuses a state judge and a former U.S. Senator of teaming with Scruggs in a judicial bribery scheme.

The suit, filed Monday by Scruggs’ former asbestos litigation partner William Roberts Wilson, alleges a conspiracy that involves Scruggs, his lawyers in a dispute with Wilson over attorneys fees, Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, former state Auditor Steven Patterson, former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters and an unnamed former U.S. Senator.

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is Scruggs’ brother-in-law. Joey Langston, one of Scruggs’ attorneys, has already pleaded guilty to the scheme, which he said involved using Lott to help DeLaughter get appointed to a federal judgeship in Mississippi by President Bush.

After what has been described as a courtesy call, however, Lott gave his support to another candidate.

Wilson attorney Charles Merkel told Legal Newsline nearly a year ago that he wanted to have all of the information before he made his next move. Since then, Scruggs has been sentenced to five years in prison for participating in a judicial bribery scheme in Lafayette County.

“There are new developments everyday,” Merkel said in February. “We want to know all of the facts before we act precipitously with only half of the knowledge.”

Legal Newsline