Prosecutors ask court to drop other charges in Lackey bribery attempt

U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee has asked the court to dismiss remaining charges against famed attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and two others ensnared in a judicial bribery scheme.

One motion asks to dismiss the six-count indictment against Scruggs’ son Zach, who pleaded guilty to knowing about the crime but not reporting it. He was sentenced to 14 months in prison and will enter a Pensacola, Fla., facility by Aug. 15.

Two other motions, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Oxford, ask dismissal of Counts 2-6 against Sidney Backstrom and Dickie Scruggs.

They pleaded guilty to Count 1 – conspiring to bribe a judge – and will enter prison by Aug. 4. Backstrom will serve 28 months in Forrest City, Ark., and Scruggs will begin his five-year sentence in Ashland, Ky.

Five men were indicted Nov. 29, accused of attempting to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City. They sought a favorable ruling in a $26.5 million legal-fees lawsuit over Hurricane Katrina insurance case settlements.

Former New Albany attorney Timothy Balducci and former state Auditor Steven Patterson also pleaded guilty, but they have not been sentenced. They are believed to be cooperating with investigators over allegations Scruggs and others bribed Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter of Hinds County.

DeLaughter denies doing anything wrong.

No one has been indicted in that case, although former Booneville attorney Joey Langston pleaded guilty to charges he participated in the scheme. He has not been sentenced either.

NE MS Daily Journal
7/25/8