Scruggs’ troubles spur political finger-pointing

Gifts from Scruggs, his attorney son Zach, Oxford attorney Sidney Backstrom, New Albany attorney Timothy Balducci and former state auditor Steven Patterson may be in the political crosshairs after their Nov. 28 federal indictment, accusing them of trying to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey in return for a favorable ruling in a $26.5 million legal fees case. They all pleaded not guilty, although Balducci turned around, pleaded guilty to one count and is cooperating with the government.

Soon after the indictment, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York canceled a Dec. 15 fundraiser set for the senior Scruggs’ Oxford mansion.

A brief search of the Federal Election Commission’s web site shows the five men have contributed some $262,911 to various federal campaigns and political causes since 2000. That figure does not cover state government campaigns, since the FEC only governs federal elections.

Richard Scruggs is the big hitter in the group – $163,450 in contributions.

Reports for the others show:
– Zach Scruggs – $45,500

– Balducci – $16,912

– Patterson – $28,149

– Backstrom – $8,900

NE MS Daily Journal