The second indefensible position belongs to the Democratic nominee for a new term as attorney general, Jim Hood.
Only in recent years has anyone cared about the hiring of private attorneys to represent the state. Dickie Scruggs changed that. Scruggs led a team of lawyers in the groundbreaking 1997 settlement under which a consortium of tobacco companies agreed to reimburse the state for what it had paid to treat people with tobacco-related illnesses.
Later, indignation arose when Scruggs was disclosed as then-Attorney General Mike Moore’s top political donor.
Same song with Hood, specifically in the case of Booneville attorney Joey Langston, who is Hood’s top donor and who was hired for a back-taxes case against MCI/WorldCom. Langston negotiated $100 million for the state (most of which arrived just in time to pay off the beef plant) and the defendants paid him $14 million, which is still subject to dispute.
Hood has struggled to rationalize the situation, but it’s impossible. It’s just nuts to expect any citizens, anywhere to accept a situation where top campaign donors cash in via decisions made by their donees. It’s the public’s business being conducted by a private club.