Pickering to challenge MCI ruling

A Hinds County Circuit Court ruling that upholds millions of dollars in attorneys fees related to Mississippi’s $100 million MCI tax settlement will be appealed, the state auditor said Friday.

The state auditor’s office had argued that $14 million paid to the then-Langston Law Firm in 2005 belonged to the public and should have been sent to the Legislature to appropriate.

“Since the beginning, I think we have expected that the state Supreme Court would be the final arbitrator in this case,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said of Judge Winston Kidd’s ruling. “By no means is this a definitive resolution.”

In a judgment dated Feb. 10, Kidd sided with attorneys for the Langston firm and the state attorney general’s office, ruling that the attorneys fees were handled appropriately because they were separate from the settlement the state received.