Perhaps there’s fire with the smoke signals indicating that next week a federal grand jury will hear testimony about allegations that suspended Hinds Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter was bribed by Richard “Dickie” Scruggs with the promise to a federal judgeship.

Balducci and Patterson pleaded guilty in the Lackey case, and as part of their plea agreement, they must cooperate with other government investigations and testify before grand juries and trial juries.

No one other than Langston officially has been accused of anything, but DeLaughter was suspended from the bench while the state Commission on Judicial Performance investigates allegations he made suspicious favorable rulings in several cases.

Peters is widely considered the alleged go-between in these cases.

The issue, which the Oxford grand jury could be considering Tuesday, is the outcome of Wilson v. Scruggs, a lawsuit brought by former Jackson attorney Roberts Wilson, who sought a larger share of legal fees from his and Scruggs’ joint efforts in cases against asbestos manufacturers.

NE MS Daily Journal