WLBT, 2/19/9

The showdown continued in a Hinds County courtroom this afternoon between the state auditor and state attorney general. At issue: $14 million in MCI legal fees and who gets to authorize payment to outside attorneys.

Attorneys for both sides argued on a motion to realign the parties brought by attorney general. Jim Hood’s legal team says the auditors’ lawsuit could cost the state $3 million more. Stacey Pickerings’ legal team says Hood refuses to represent his agency and is attempting to undermine his authority. He maintains the legislature should have appropriated the legal fees. Pickering said Thursday’s motion was a delaying tactic .