Zach Scruggs takes appeal to Fifth Circuit

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marshall Alexander insisted during the government’s 30 minutes allotted that the younger Scruggs knew about the bribe.

Jackson attorney Mike Moore, the former state attorney general, was at counsel table with Robertson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Dabbs was with Alexander.

Two of the appeals court judges – Senior Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham and Judge W. Eugene Davis – asked numerous questions of both sides, while Judge James L. Dennis listened.

Couldn’t a reasonable juror conclude that payment to co-defendant Timothy Balducci for pre-trial work “was just a cover for a bribe?” Davis said to Robertson.

“It’s important to look at the evidence,” Robertson responded, saying Balducci admitted he never talked to Zach Scruggs about a bribe and that a Nov. 1, 2007, conversation about edits to the judge’s proposed arbitration order gave no indication Scruggs knew.

“You can’t join a conspiracy without an affirmative action,” Robertson said. “This whole case boils down to those eight minutes,” referring to the secretly recorded meeting in the Scruggs Law Firm on the Square in Oxford.

Dennis, though, suggested Scruggs might have known as Balducci talked about “taking another load of sweet potatoes” to Lackey that it was about money, a bribe.

NEMS
7/9/12