Watchdog probe ongoing

DeLaughter has been on suspension with pay since March 2008 as the state Commission on Judicial Performance investigates complaints filed against him. A circuit judge is paid $104,700 a year.

“At the present time, the commission is proceeding with its complaint regardless of the indictments,” Commission on Judicial Performance Executive Director Brant Brantley said Friday.

During his arraignment Thursday in federal court in Oxford, DeLaughter pleaded not guilty to corruption charges involving multimillionaire Dickie Scruggs in a fee case the judge presided over involving the then-well-known attorney.

He has been indicted on one count of involvement in a bribery scheme, one count of obstruction of justice and three mail fraud counts of conspiracy.

Brantley said DeLaughter’s attorney could file a request with the commission to delay making a recommendation on the judge until the criminal case is resolved.

“We would take that into consideration,” Brantley said of such request.

Clarion Ledger
2/14/9