Lott talks scandal, judges, and the future of the GOP

@BR Body bold Lede colon:SH: Had you spoken with (investigators) about the Bobby Delaughter situation?
LOTT: The U.S. Attorneys’ office in north Mississippi did talk to me about it. I told them everything that went on as far as I am concerned. That was strictly a courtesy call. That slot was always going go to (now federal judge) Sul Ozerden down there on the Coast. I assure you, I had one conversation with DeLaughter. I don’t even know DeLaughter. If I have ever met him, I don’t know when it was. He didn’t meet any of the criteria that I look for in federal judges. He was never seriously considered.
The fact of the matter is my brother-in-law is Dickie Scruggs. I can’t deny that. He married my wife’s middle sister. There was nothing as far as I was concerned, and as far I knew from DeLaughter, nothing untoward about that. That very day that I talked to him I had a friend that called from Hattiesburg and asked me to call a lawyer in Petal. I talked to two people that one day that were interested in that. Of course I had people that called me about Sul Ozerden, I had people that called me about (federal judge) Louis Guirola Jr. Dozens of calls like this were made or received over the years.
I didn’t make those choices, that shows you how mistaken some of this stuff is. One of the persons involved had alleged that (U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran) had made the last appointment, so this one was going to be mine. Thad and I didn’t do it that way. Thad and I always did our nominees by consensus. We had to both agree and we were very comfortable with that arrangement. It was not my call and it was not his call. It was our call. We were looking for first of all, some people that we knew. I have been watching Sul Ozerden practically all his life. I knew his dad and mother going back to the 1970s. I was always impressed with him and his family, same thing with Louis Guirola. … I am sad about Judge DeLaughter. The whole thing is very sad with what has gone on with the Bar and the judiciary in the state. I hope that is behind us so we can move on now.

Sun-Herald
8/15/9