Judge: Scruggs indictment stands; Lott’s name mentioned

When pressed by Scruggs’ attorney, John Keker, Balducci testified that Scruggs had tried to use Lott to influence rulings made by Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter in another dispute involving legal fees. Delaughter has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

“(DeLaughter) was offered the influence of Mr. Scruggs’ brother-in-law, who was Sen. Trent Lott, to put him on a list to be considered and be considered for a federal vacancy,” Balducci testified.

Balducci testified that Lott made the call during the first quarter of 2006.

When asked how he knew about the Lott matter, Balducci said he was involved in meetings with a Scruggs Law Firm staffer where it was discussed and that he has seen “draft orders that were going to be entered by Judge DeLaughter.”

The Brett Boyles, Lott’s former chief of staff has said that the then-senator did call DeLaughter about a vacancy in the federal court system but that Lott had made numerous courtesy calls as a U.S. senator related to court vacancies. Lott recommended Gulf Coast attorney Sul Ozerden for the post.

Sun Herald
2/20/8