Scruggs’ son denies awareness of bribe

A government sentencing report overlooks the fact that Zach Scruggs, a young attorney and father of two, did not plead guilty to participating in the conspiracy to bribe Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey, his attorneys argue.

The government’s pre-sentence report says he “was in the conspiracy from the beginning and was aware of the efforts to corruptly influence Judge Lackey.”

Scruggs says that is not true. He admitted in a guilty plea only that he knew attorney Timothy Balducci, who considered Lackey a friend and mentor, was trying to influence the judge in a legal-fee dispute filed against the Scruggs Katrina Group.

However, Zach Scruggs says he was not involved in any effort or discussion to pay Lackey $50,000 for an order that would send the case to arbitration.

Scruggs’ failure to report the improper influence, his attorneys say, cost him “a federal felony conviction and the loss of a promising legal career.”

“This matter has further cast untold pain upon his expecting wife and young children. For all this, Zach Scruggs takes full responsibility.”

Sun Herald