Late today, tort baron Dickie Scruggs, his son Zach, Tim Balducci and former Mississippi State Auditor Steve Patterson were indicted by a federal grand jury for bribing a local trial judge that was cooperating with the FBI. All four were huge Attorney General Jim Hood contributors during the last election cycle. Steve Patterson even wrote letters to the editor on Hood’s behalf.
The crux of the indictment is that these four conspired to commit and actually committed bribery of a judge to deliver a favorable ruling to them over attorneys fees gleaned from Katrina related litigation. There is tape. There is documentation.
Some of the conversations between Balducci and the judge were apparently taped.
On May 9, Balducci called Lackey and told him “my relationship with Dick is such that he and I can talk very private about these kinds of matters and I have the fullest confidence that if the court, you know, is inclined to rule … in favor … everything will be good,” the indictment said. “The only person in the world outside of me and you that has discussed this is me and Dick. …
“How shall I say, for over the last five or six years there, there are bodies buried that, that you know, that he and I know where ….”
According to the indictment, Balducci’s conversations with Lackey continued for the next several months.
On Sept. 21, Balducci agreed to pay Lackey $40,000 in cash in return for a ruling favorable to Scruggs, the indictment claims.
Six days later, Patterson discussed the bribe with Balducci, the indictment claims.
That same day, Balducci delivered $20,000 in cash to Lackey, according to the indictment.
Later that day, Balducci was quoted as telling Patterson by phone, “All is done, all is handled and all is well.”
As you will remember, yesterday, the FBI raided Scruggs’ offices. They obviously found what they were looking for.
So what does this all mean? Well, for starters, Dickie Scruggs fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on December 15th featuring BILL CLINTON, will likely be cancelled.
We will have lots more on this, but we would like to take a quick stroll down Dickie Scruggs memory lane. Dickie’s had a hell of a three months. See if you remember these “greatest hits”.
Lipstick on a Pig
Scruggs drops $250K to buy Insurance Commissioners race
Scruggs charged with contempt of a federal judge’s order
Scruggs gives Jim Hood $34K – Hood names Scruggs “confidential informant” to give safe harbor from a federal judge
We will have lots more including deconstructing the fascinating web of relationships between the tort barons and the politicians that have served them so well – Attorney General Jim Hood and Former Attorney General and Scruggs chum Mike Moore.
Incidentally, Mike Moore’s shot at Senate has just ended.