Mississippi Hoods

A federal judge later found that Messrs. Hood and Scruggs had “teamed up to bully State Farm into civil and criminal settlements,” and ordered Mr. Scruggs to return the documents. Instead, Mr. Scruggs defied the judge’s order by shipping them to Mr. Hood. This caused federal Judge William Acker in June to request that the U.S. Attorney prosecute Mr. Scruggs for criminal contempt.

Once again Mr. Hood rode to the rescue of his partner in shakedowns, sending a letter to the U.S. Attorney requesting that she not prosecute Mr. Scruggs because he was a “confidential informant” of the state. The prosecutor acquiesced, which inspired an angry Judge Acker to appoint three special prosecutors. (Mr. Scruggs is due to be arraigned shortly before Thanksgiving.) By the way, Mr. Scruggs made a $33,000 campaign contribution to Mr. Hood in July. About a week after receiving it, Mr. Hood sent a letter to federal authorities confirming he’d re-initiated his criminal probe of State Farm, and that this time he viewed Renfroe as a “potential co-conspirator.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

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Mr. Hood has tried to keep all of this under seal, but we’re delighted to make it public. The Hood-Scruggs story is all too typical of the way state Attorneys General and the tort bar are teaming up to shake down political targets. Congratulations to State Farm for fighting back.

Wall Street Journal
11/15/7