Are the feds doing Jim Hood’s job for him?

Last month, a federal grand jury in Oxford indicted internationally prominent trial attorney Dickie Scruggs along with three other lawyers, including his son, on charges that the defendants took part in a scheme to bribe a state trial court judge. Scruggs has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but co-indictee Tim Balducci has entered a plea bargain agreement with the feds and is helping them in their pursuit of Scruggs and the others.

There are a couple of common denominators here. First, Hood’s been AWOL from these investigations and prosecutions.

Second, in the case of Scruggs and Balducci, both are campaign contributors to Hood – which would make investigating and indicting them somewhat less than gracious.

In the last few weeks, Hood’s gone after the Washington County tax assessor’s office for alleged fraud on car tags, talked tough against toys contaminated with lead paint and gone after folks on home repair fraud and insurance fraud. Those are all noble, necessary pursuits.

But one would have to wonder whether Hood believes that alleged judicial bribery by some of his campaign contributors is at least in the ballpark of being as important as allegations of car tag fraud in Washington County?

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger