Scruggs case: Pleas, deals may be ‘clear’ Monday

Monday is expected to be a busy day at federal court, say sources close to the judicial bribery case that’s ensnared famed litigator Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and four others.

Reliable sources say it’s highly likely some documents will be unsealed Monday, indicating many details of what’s been going on behind the scenes relating to the Nov. 28 indictments of Scruggs, his lawyer son Zach, legal associate Sidney Backstrom, former state Auditor Steven Patterson and New Albany attorney Timothy Balducci.

They are accused of trying to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun County for a favorable ruling in a $26.5 million Katrina legal fees lawsuit.

Many aspects of the case “will become clear” Monday, one person close to the case said.

What isn’t clear yet is what’s in those documents,
but the sources say they could reveal some guilty pleas and federal cooperation by one or more of the defendants, besides Balducci, who Dec. 4 changed his not-guilty plea to guilty on one count and has been assisting prosecutors.

Scruggs, his son, Backstrom and Patterson have insisted upon their innocence. Calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for more information were not

However, courthouse observers say Patterson may have worked out a deal with prosecutors. His attorney, Hiram Eastland Jr. of Greenwood, declined to comment on the possibility.

Patsy Brumfield
NE MS Daily Journal