Former Hinds D.A. Ed Peters Accused of $1M Bribe | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Former Hinds D.A. Ed Peters Accused of $1M Bribe

The Scruggs scandal is hitting closer and closer to Hinds County. In a story about Booneville attorney Joey Langston pleading guilty to corruption charges, The Clarion-Ledger buried explosive accusations, made in court documents, that Ed Peters—who has worked closely with Tim Balducci—is accused of taking a million-dollar bribe to influence his former assistant district attorney, now-Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby Delaughter:

On Dec. 10, the FBI served a search warrant at Langston's law office, where Balducci previously worked, seeking documents related to that attorneys' fees lawsuit as well as documents regarding payments to Jackson lawyer Ed Peters, who played no known role in the case. In 2001, Peters retired as Hinds County district attorney. In his statement to authorities, Langston said he helped Scruggs try to influence Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, who heard the case. DeLaughter, a former assistant district attorney under Peters, has repeatedly said he took no bribe. "The hardest part of this is not being able to defend myself, but I just can't comment on it," he said Saturday. [...]

Scruggs' attorneys expressed concerns DeLaughter's former law partner, Bill Kirksey, was involved in that lawsuit and decided to hire Peters, according to statements Scruggs' lawyers have given federal authorities.

Peters asked for $50,000 in cash for his services, according to the statements, and because Langston didn't have $50,000 in cash, Balducci supplied it.

But Scruggs' lawyers never listed Peters as an attorney of record in the case. According to statements, Peters was eventually given a total of $1 million to influence DeLaughter in the case. The statements show DeLaughter did not receive any of that money.

In January 2006, special master Bobby Sneed made recommendations that led Wilson's attorneys to seek more than $15 million in fees from the asbestos litigation. Three days after that decision, Scruggs installed Langston as lead counsel, assisted by Balducci.

Previous Comments

ID
116296
Comment

It's good for Robert Smith that these accusations didn't emerge before the election, eh?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T11:56:58-06:00
ID
116297
Comment

I watched the news on two different stations this morning, and there was no mention of the Peters bribe. What's the deal?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-01-14T12:38:18-06:00
ID
116298
Comment

We've long noticed that Ed Peters gets treated with kid gloves by the local media. I'm a little surprised that the Ledger has Jerry Mitchell covering this part of the story, considering that he was involved in a Hollywood movie about Delaughter, Peters, et al. Also, for other JFP stories about Ed Peters, click here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T12:55:44-06:00
ID
116299
Comment

Certainly it was good for Robert Smith that these accusations didn't emerge before the election; however, it was BAD for the community who couldn't see the tree this apple was falling from. I think about Faye often and appreciate the fact that she tried to inform us of some of the things going on behind the scene. A lot of folks thought that it was just her way of trying to give a knock out punch to Smith. Is it true that Smith has terminated all attorneys except two and that he hired his former law partner as one of the Assistant DAs?

Author
justjess
Date
2008-01-14T13:42:07-06:00
ID
116300
Comment

I think about Faye often and appreciate the fact that she tried to inform us of some of the things going on behind the scene. Yep, I suspect history will treat her as the Al Gore in this situation, if you know what I mean. I will say that it is not a community that is fond at looking straight at what's in front of its collective, stubborn, gullible face. And where were the damn media all these years!?! Re Smith, I'm not sure. I've been sick and am behind on things. But with all that rest, I'm back in the saddle with a vengeance. Let's roll.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T13:51:35-06:00
ID
116301
Comment

Now Patterson is pleading guilty. More on Delaughter in that story.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T14:13:48-06:00
ID
116302
Comment

Worth noting: The Sun-Herald's coverage is much less confusing than Mitchell's, if equally as surface. And they have PDFs to court documents.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T14:40:40-06:00
ID
116303
Comment

Is it just me, or doesn't it feel like Delaughter should recuse himself from any decision involving anybody Scruggs has given money to—which means politicians on all sides of the aisle?!?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T16:23:06-06:00
ID
116304
Comment

Now, this is some whopper of an unnamed source for a newspaper that claims—wink, wink—not to do them. So, WHO told Jerry Mitchell that Ed Peters is the "friend"? And why are they skating past that point!?! Maybe the reason these stories are so confusing is because the Ledger is trying to dance around the fact that they are using unnamed sources to name Peters. If I've missed an attribution, all, please let me know. Now, the JFP uses unnamed sources as well in investigative reporting because they are necessary sometimes. The difference is that we don't deny it. From Mitchell's piece today: In a document unsealed today, Booneville lawyer Joey Langston said Patterson and another man split $3 million to influence Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter to rule in Scruggs' favor in a lawsuit over attorneys’ fees. The document identifies the man as a "close personal friend" of DeLaughter. Langston already has told federal authorities the man is former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters in whose office DeLaughter once worked as an assistant. Langston, who until last week was representing Scruggs on the federal charges, pleaded guilty last week to corruption charges. DeLaughter has said he was never approached to take a bribe in the case and if he had been, he would have notified the authorities.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T17:23:42-06:00
ID
116305
Comment

Another thing I find interesting are the efforts by political enemies of Jim Hood and Mike Moore to connect them to all this—because Scruggs game them money (and just about everyone else of both parties) and because they did work with Langston. See this comment under that Ledger article: I can't wait to see who's next, Hood and Moore have got to be involved somehow. Does anyone know or has anyone seen anything on the web about Lott and a young male, or did I dream that one. OK, I'm not up to speed on every aspect of this case. Can someone tell me why Hood and Moore "have got to be involved"? Is there any evidence of that that anyone knows about? If you have something specific, please e-mail me directly so we can check it out. We will report it if it's true, but if it's just political maneuvering, that needs to be exposed, too, for what it's worth. If the reasoning is simply because they took money from the indicted and gave them state contingency contracts—where would that leave people like Robert Smith and Frank Melton, who are so close to Ed Peters? Evidence, folks. Let's find it and provide it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T17:30:19-06:00
ID
116306
Comment

We'll continue blogging about the Scruggs case on the JFP site, especially about the Hinds County angle, but we will post news on the case as it comes in over on StateDesk. And, yes, the Google News Alerts may keep us busy on that one! For instance, you can read over there right now about Hood removing Joey Langston from a current lawsuit—and what the pro-tort-reform-a-sphere is saying about it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-14T20:25:23-06:00
ID
116307
Comment

OK, For the word on the legal street. Ed Peters has already turned in his bar liscense agreed to repay the million he was given, and given immunity. As for Ed, he got 70K in CASH to broker Melton's first plea deal with Hood, and other parties, and I never saw him listed as council, ever Further rumors state there is a tape, (that the US attorney's have) of Trent Lott offering Delaughter a federal Judgeship if he ruled favorably in the case Scruggs case of record that Langsotn pleaded to. (he later turned face on it ) RUMOR (it is supposed to be audio, not video) and it forced Trent's resignation. As for Judge Delaughter, I PRAY it isn't true and I don't want to believe. I like the man a lot but things look bleak. As for the rest The feds wanted BIG fish. three from what I have heard, Langston has plead, Scruggs is cooked, and the next.... Everyone is guessing, and I agree with the popular consensus: Hood I think will be next. Ladd, don't be niave, I love Hood and Moore, but they both have their problems, and I think Hood's may have cooked him unless Joey and Dickey BOTH fall on their swords, for both have dirt.--- This is a huge stain on my profession. I really like some of the indivuduals involved as people, but at this point... DAMN THEM. They soiled every attorney's integrety, every judge's integrity and shook faith in the system. All I have as an attorney is my reputation and the belief that the system is somewhat even. They have destroyed any belief in the system and all attorney's reputations by association. How can I honestly look at a client that loses and say "it was fair?" Also how can I look individuals in the face and say, "It is about the evidence" If they are corrupt, and I will not pre-judge, run all of them out of town, make sure they never see a court room as a professional, lock them up, fine them.... whatever, just destroy them as an example of what should happen when you break your oath to uphold justice and the law AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-01-14T23:11:10-06:00
ID
116308
Comment

AGamm, interesting post. I know you're pretty reliable, but it is true that we've heard a million and half rumors about the Melton case from the "street," legal and otherwise, and many of them aren't true. ;-) However, we're all going to assume that you are merely sharing rumors, and I'll give you a bit of leeway considering what is going on around us. I'm not naive about Hood, AGamm, or anyone else. It's just that everything I've seen about his involvement with the bribery scams is so evidence-free that it sounds like a witchhunt. So far, anyway; it may well be that the feds are keeping the evidence on whomever is next close. It seems to be guilt by association at the moment, though, or by the fact that he was given campaign donations by someone who he either knew or did not know was crooked—which is what about every candidate in the country does. (See how much good campaign-finance reform is needed?) I try not to indict anyone before seeing enough evidence to convince me that there is at least smoke. (Although I'm fully aware of the difficulty of getting the evidence of the actual fire out there on some stories with unreliable and deceased witnesses, etc.) I agree that it's all very depressing, and it's certainly not about partisan politics. It seems to be about greed and, I suspect, long-standing and very deep power plays, with ties to the distant past, that keep on multiplying. And whoever goes down with that, legitimately, should go down with that. The truth is, I've been hearing for years that there is a very corrupt strain in our legal and judicial system here, but people weren't quick to offer up evidence or even names, although certain ones regularly came up. And the truth is that people in power knew about this and didn't do anything about it, and that probably includes some people in *my* profession—especially after some other things I've learned lately about what the media here are willing to cover up or turn their heads on. So my profession is soiled as well. But it is so much better that it all comes out, wherever the chips fall, so we can clean this state up. It has *never* been clean. The good ole (white) boyz morphed into the new diverse power network, and many people have been hurt as a result. Let's open up this wound so we can finally change this damn state. Let's start over. When we do, I hope that we will focus on rooting out the bad guys, whether doctor, lawyer or corporate mogul, rather than hurting the people of Mississippi by limiting their rights in legitimate lawsuits. All of this is making it more obvious than ever how much of a political sham tort reform was from all this.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-15T00:46:09-06:00
ID
116309
Comment

And re Peters: I know that he helped broker the deal for Melton to resign; he's been getting Melton's back for a long time, it seems. I hadn't been told that he was paid $70,000 to do it, though. I assume you mean by Melton? Or, who? And of course Melton backed out of that deal. As for Delaughter: I don't know him personally, but the image of him that I had from all the Beckwith hype has been shattered. Not by this, but by cases like Cedric Willis. And he was the ADA on the juvenile detention center case that Peters stalled in the early '90s. I don't know what that means exactly—but I do know that I want to live in a city where people in the D.A.'s office get really upset over the idea that public officials and city employees may be hurting young people, regardless of their race or what crime they've committed. Peterson cared about those things, but I don't like the inattention some of these things got before she came along. I hope we don't return to that status quo now that Peters' pick for D.A. is in there. Like about everybody else who voted for Peterson, I'm holding my breath, praying that Robert Smith is his own man and not a puppet of these people. Maybe he was naive, and just as I won't indict Hood of merely guilt by association, I will hold out hope that Smith is a good D.A. despite the people who were his most visible supporters. And I also pray that Jackson and Mississippi stop being so damn gullible. If the signs (and the support network) are suspect, don't vote for them. It's that simple.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-15T00:57:57-06:00
ID
116310
Comment

I have repeatedly said that this case is going to cause a major collapse in the state power structure.

Author
Willezurmacht
Date
2008-01-15T08:21:14-06:00
ID
116311
Comment

No question. I'm with you. The question is: Will it happen in a really obvious way, or in one that strikes at the real power in the state that people don't really understand is controlling things? If that makes sense.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-15T08:51:18-06:00
ID
116312
Comment

"I'm not naive about Hood, AGamm, or anyone else. It's just that everything I've seen about his involvement with the bribery scams is so evidence-free that it sounds like a witchhunt. " And what about that "little" case involving State Farm?

Author
lady
Date
2008-01-15T09:56:34-06:00
ID
116313
Comment

The problem with Hood is not related to the bribery scandal, it is due to "allegedly" him taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal donations from Langston and Scruggs. The 70 K to Peters was cash for brokering the Melton deal. Even though it fell through, Melton paid him 70K to get the initial offer.

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-01-15T10:22:43-06:00
ID
116314
Comment

Explain how those campaign contributions were "illegal." Which law was broken? (Not that I don't think that most *should* be illegal, especially those secret ones from the U.S. Chamber to Mississippi Supreme Court candidates, but I digress.) Why would Melton pay him that in cash? Is it just that Peters is accused of hiding the money, or would there be something more illegal or unethical at stake? Please explain. Lady, I'm not as familiar with the details of the State Farm case, although Adam probably is. But for the sake of understanding here, why don't you explain to us exactly what Hood is accused of doing? Then we can have a discussion about it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-15T10:54:42-06:00
ID
116315
Comment

And why is "little" in quotes? I'm missing the quote. Are you quoting someone?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-15T10:55:12-06:00
ID
116316
Comment

Peters wanted cash, he got paid in cash. Why is all for Ed to know. As for the contributions, the ones listed on the reporting statements are legal, it is the hundred of thousands of dollars from Joey and Dickey that was funneled through others to evade Mississippi's maximum contribution laws would be the illegal ones. It is called washing the money. One or two big donors or organizations max out their contributions under law and use individuals to funnel money through to pay off debts or raise money. Some unions got popped for it a while back in DC.

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-01-15T11:24:57-06:00
ID
116317
Comment

http://www.lfcj.com/process.cfm?pageID=1&fullStory=73

Author
lady
Date
2008-01-15T12:36:19-06:00
ID
116318
Comment

it is the hundred of thousands of dollars from Joey and Dickey that was funneled through others to evade Mississippi's maximum contribution laws would be the illegal ones. Well, I would imagine that would be problematic for whoever does it (if there is enough teeth in the law to do anything about it). Is there clear evidence that this happened, or is it speculation at this point? And is this Justice Department going to apply a probe of such funneling of money through "others" equally, regardless of the party of the receiver? Just as we called for with Scruggs—the law must be applied fairly here, or it's just a mess on top of a mess.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-15T13:24:48-06:00
ID
116319
Comment

Donna I agree. There is no evidence that Hood has accepted illegal contributions from Scruggs. It does appear to be a witchhunt of sorts. Besides, in order to do what AGamm has suggested the "funnel" donors would have to be willing to accept the tax implications which go along with making such large donations. Remember, the IRS receives copies of all campaign contributions, therefore if someone makes a large donation, that person would have to be able to show that he/she earned that much during the year. Not many people are willing to admit to the IRS that they are making more money especially if they didn't make it in the first place.

Author
clarkkent
Date
2008-01-15T14:25:11-06:00
ID
116320
Comment

Well, time will certainly tell. If this Justice Department has such evidence, they'll use it, I'm sure. If they don't, though, there are a lot of folks who should take a lesson in basic factchecking. I didn't think I could ever see a more active rumor mill than has surrounded Melton the last few months. But here it is.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-15T14:38:30-06:00
ID
116321
Comment

I tell you: This is one frustrating story to research for background. I haven't found a media story, yet, that gives much substantive on any of the major players in the Scruggs scandal. It tells me just how bad the reporting has been in this state over the years. Shudder. Then there are all the pro-tort-reform salivating blogs that are so rumor-riddled than you can't tell fact from fiction on them. Their primary goal in it all seems to be to GET JIM HOOD. (Meaning: GET DEMOCRATS.) And on none of those blogs have I seen mention of the Mississippi guy who DNA is clearing of rape after he's spent 16 years in prison. Justice, schmustice. I will tell you this, though: If the allegations in the documents are true, Scruggs, Balducci, Patterson and Langston sound like real greedy scumbag sumbitches. The hard questions are who knew just how scummy they were and when. And just how representative are they of every level of power in this state? What's remarkable to me is to see the level of surprise expressed by some over the involvement of some Hinds County players. The level of deeply held naivete and denial in the state is incredibly deep. Of course, that's been bolstered by the pitiful media. It is the danger of a paper like The Clarion-Ledger putting all its eggs in an increasingly easier-handled basket of going after old civil-rights cases instead of investigating the corruption at the tips of their noses. We've had to make hard decisions based on our limited resources: Do we put most of our time into investigating the far past, or the more recent past and present? Considering the dangers posed to current Mississippians, we've leaned toward the latter with some notable exceptions. It would be easier to traipse around the state and do the historic world I love, but this corrupt sh!t has got to stop, and the power must be wrested from the people pulling the strings for so long. And I would posit that the identity of some of those people is going to surprise even the most obsessed bloggers if the feds keep rooting this out to its core. You have to find where it started and take it from there. There's not done by parsing and re-parsing current court documents. Interesting times. But it was inevitable. It's time that this stink is exposed. Here's a fun fact: Know who the Feds' Rico Act is named after? Mobster Rico "Rusty Nails" Balducci. A fun coincidence, eh? ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-16T00:57:34-06:00
ID
116322
Comment

RICO = Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organization Act. It amazes me how the people on this board who want to improve our City and State are so quick to defend the actions and reputations of the Democratic power structure. Scruggs, Langston, Hood, etc. are all probably guilty. These are the bad guys holding the state down. They are just as bad as the murderers, muggers and rapists that give the city proper such a bad name, except their actions affect the entire state.

Author
QB
Date
2008-01-16T10:17:25-06:00
ID
116323
Comment

t amazes me how the people on this board who want to improve our City and State are so quick to defend the actions and reputations of the Democratic power structure. Who is doing that, Fat Harry? Most people on this site, myself included, can't stand the Democratic power structure, or the Republican one. This case, though, isn't really about that. It's about corrupt people in both parties, who tried to buy members of both parties. Scruggs, Langston, Hood, etc. are all probably guilty. Do you know how unethical (and un-American) it is to include Hood in that statement unless and until you provide evidence? "Are all probably guilty" is one of the most anti-American statements you can make unless you have the evidence. You're hawking an agenda. It may turn out to be correct, and it may not, but the way it's being done right now by people who claim to be ethical and moral is disgusting, regardless of the ultimate outcome. We will remain one of the lone voices in the wilderness calling for evidence before indictment. Say what you will about that from your side of the iron curtain. Should we assume that you are just as concerned about the corruption at every level of the Republican Party that has emerged in recent years? What is your opinion of Barbour's donor list? Is he guilty of a crime because of some of the people on that list? Would you argue that? Saying someone is guilty of a crime (comparable to rape, etc.) is a very serious allegation, and it is not the same as discussing the ethics of pandering to campaign contributors in a country where one party has unceremoniously refused to make questionable campaign contributions illegal because they benefit them so much. So be a real man. Go after all of the corrupt power structure if you're so worried about it. If not, you're just a partisan shill.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-16T10:45:35-06:00
ID
116324
Comment

Also, I'm curious if you think that Republican Trent Lott is "probably guilty" as well as Hood? Being that you think this is so much about party, I assume you think he was naive through all this?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-16T10:50:03-06:00
ID
116325
Comment

Just wait, the question is whether the Feds will release the audio between Tent and Delaughter that allegedly led to Trent's resignation. I haven't heard it and there are vastly different versions floating around Just wondering if the GOP will go after their own. AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-01-16T11:52:37-06:00
ID
116326
Comment

Excellent work at stirring the pot! Haha! Anyway, I agree that Hood should not be included on that list as he has not been indicted. I apologize. You say that you want to see the evidence before making a judgment. Well, many players in this matter have seen the evidence and plead guilty. A guilty plea is a guilty plea -- you and I may never see the evidence that caused these people to enter a plea before trial. What does that tell you, though? As for the question about Trent Lott -- I too feel like the timing of his resignation was very suspicious and would not be surprised if he joins the rest of this sorry crew. And I am not some sort of Republican shill. I don't know anything about Haley Barbour's donor list but chances are, there are some unsavory characters on it. People donate money because they want a say in government. I specified the people (who just happen to be Democrats) in my above post because THEY are the ones under investigation. I just hate public corruption. I've seen it completely ruin New Orleans (which is most certainly NOT a Democrat witchhunt) and I don't want it to happen in Jackson.

Author
QB
Date
2008-01-16T12:57:20-06:00
ID
116327
Comment

Been hearing all sorts of rumors about this, and while none bear repeating it looks like the net the feds are casting is pretty wide.

Author
GLewis
Date
2008-01-16T13:36:11-06:00
ID
116328
Comment

OK, Fat Harry, you're redeemed now that you've backtracked a bit. At this point, it doesn't sound like we're disagreeing on much of anything. I hate corruption, too—private or public. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-16T14:32:47-06:00
ID
116329
Comment

As a lawyer, I want the net cast wide. The day Scruggs was indicted I was both sad and angry -- sad that it will take years for our justice system to recover from this and angry that any s-o-b would try to do this. As for Hood, for me, the problem is the apparent connection between his criminal case against State Farm and Scruggs's civil cases against State Farm. During the pendency of Scruggs's civil cases, Hood launches a criminal investigation into State Farm (prior to that, it had been a lawsuit against many companies about what the flood exclusions means). When State Farm reached its settlement with Scruggs (which the federal court has since rejected for a number of reasons), the criminal investigation disappeared. Either State Farm committed a crime or it did not; whether a settlement was reached in civil cases should have no bearing. Not to mention that once the settlement fell apart due to Judge Senter's concerns, Hood begins making noises about a criminal investigation again. This method of using a criminal investigation to further a Scruggs case is not new -- in the Wilson vs. Scruggs case, Wilson was subjected to a tax investigation that was, according to this CL article, purportedly done to further Scruggs end of the litigation. I would like to believe our AG is above using criminal prosecutions to help his friends. I want to believe that. But it is getting hard to . . . Newt

Author
Newt
Date
2008-01-16T14:44:39-06:00
ID
116330
Comment

I want the net cast wide, too, Newt, and regardless of party or anything else. I agree that, from what I know, the State Farm situation has the appearance of problems, but lawyers more than anyone else know that that does not mean that Hood is guilty of purposefully doing those things. He could be guilty of naivete and gullibility. All I'm saying is to take a breath and wait for the evidence before declaring people guilty. The partisan hacks won't do that, but the rest of us are capable of it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-16T14:51:46-06:00
ID
116331
Comment

Oh, I have absolutely NO party allegiance. And I agree we need to wait for proof (if any exists) -- I was just trying to provide some context for a concern with Hood (or at least the basis for my concern about Hood). Believe me Ladd -- after reading JFP since its first issue, I know that you fully want a wide cast of the net. We need to clean up MS -- at all levels. Newt

Author
Newt
Date
2008-01-16T14:59:57-06:00
ID
116332
Comment

I'm glad to hear some attorneys are being supportive of this investigation-since what you have now is just an awesome display of greed at work-at least the Scruggs accusations just downright unseemly. For people having to go to trial, having no faith in the justice system at any level is profoundly wrong and while its impossible to have justices with no bias, the money and slush funds going on here in a way reminds me of the situation in gangland Chicago where everything was up for sale. I mean, why pay for insurance if what you really need to do is pay the judge off?

Author
GLewis
Date
2008-01-16T17:02:28-06:00
ID
116333
Comment

Thanks, Newt. ;-) And I understand your concern. It all worries me, and we never want to see people who we believe are of good character go bad. But once they do, and we know it, all bets should be off. I believe in evidence, but I also don't believe in cover-ups or partisan bias. I'm glad to hear some attorneys are being supportive of this investigation-since what you have now is just an awesome display of greed at work I agree, GLewis. It is interesting to note that more lawyers seem to be vocal about rooting out the corrupt apples in this business than doctors are about rooting out the bad ones in their midst. They both should be equally as outraged, and both support every possible way to protect patients, consumers, taxpayers and society from greedy, incompetent, unethical lawyers and doctors, or Republicans and Democrats. Instead, it becomes a war between two professions, or parties, instead of everyone banding together against the bad eggs. I really wish everyone would look beyond the ends of their own noses on all of this.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-16T18:10:34-06:00
ID
116334
Comment

I don't know if you all have seen all the talk about how the fact that J. Hood is not prosecuting Scruggs, Langston et al. indicates his guilt in some fashion. I have just pointed out on another blog that the feds could have asked him not to. It also does not make sense for him to suddenly go prosecute people his office gave contracts to. He would have to recuse anyway. My guess is that the feds have asked him to lie low. Unless of course they have him by the balls because of something he did, and then they could really ask him to keep quiet or whatever else but I am not alleging that he is guilty of anything, mind you. There are many possibilities that all the wankers with keyboards aren't even considering.

Author
gipper
Date
2008-01-16T23:17:18-06:00
ID
116335
Comment

Ok, additional rumors still swirling, 1. Trent is on tape with Delaughter, I mentioned that earlier 2. Trent was actually forced out over the Alabama contempt issue with Scruggs, he tried to step in, pull some strings and got punched. 3. Scruggs will plea this week or next and take 6 years - Zach will get 3 If 3 is true, they had to give up somebody even better than them. Minor got more for MUCH less, allegedly, since I do not know for certain the Scruggs did anything yet. To be bigger than Scruggs, it has to be several judges, a senator or more, a fomer Lt Gov (she did take 400K from him to buy a house), an AG, multiple state elected officials, something, something bigger than the biggest trial lawyer in Mississippi and arguably the nation due to the tobacco litigation And to NEWT As an attorney, DAMN THEM ALL TO HELL if they did any of this. I respected some of these people, hated some of these people, but my feelings toward the accused, those that have pled and those that have allegedly flipped does not matter. They gave our entire profession a black eye. As myself and many attorney friends have asked, "how the hell are we going to look a client in the face and say 'the process was fair'?" Everything now will be questioned for years. I know I will look at a well financed defense lawyer who zeros me out and I will wonder because he represents people that could influence a judge or appellate court member, as will he or she if I hit a big verdict or win a motion critical to a case. What about my criminal practice? A former DA who is possibly VERY dirty? Tell me about faith in the system and how I could convince any client things are fair. As an attorney, all I have to offer is my knowledge and my reputation. These bastards have tarnished all our reputations. Let them hang, hang high and hang publicly. Taking a license is not enough, I want time. AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-01-16T23:28:44-06:00
ID
116336
Comment

To be bigger than Scruggs, it has to be several judges, a senator or more, a fomer Lt Gov (she did take 400K from him to buy a house), an AG, multiple state elected officials, something, something bigger than the biggest trial lawyer in Mississippi and arguably the nation due to the tobacco litigation It's scary that there are so many options, eh? It does seem that looking at people who have recently stepped down, or decided not to run for another office, might be a good place to start. Or, we could just wait for the indictments. ;-) Taking a license is not enough, I want time. Hell, yeah. You're right: Paul Minor did much less for a lot of time. The feds are going to look damn partisan if they don't throw the book at a guy who wheeled and dealed with Republicans as well, and who is Lott's brother-in-law. Remember our editorial about that? It proved quite prescient. And if the accusations against Peters are true, it does present the question of what else is true? If you'll take a million-dollar bribe, what else might you have done? And then that winds us back to where the JFP has been for a while. Trying to shake the local tree that has gone unshaken and unstirred for so long. And we now have a D.A. who is unlikely to touch that particular group of people. They were smart that way. The jury's still out on what he was.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-16T23:48:17-06:00
ID
116337
Comment

Regarding the rumors of a tape with Trent on the phone talking to DeLaughter, whose phone was tapped? Trent's? I doubt it. DeLaughter's? Well, now if DeLaughter reported the overture regarding the Wilson matter to the feds it is highly likely that DeLaughter had a tap on his phone. My gut tells me that DeLaughter is clean.

Author
mrpink
Date
2008-01-17T07:14:38-06:00
ID
116338
Comment

Gipper's statement regarding the fact that Hood is not prosecuting the case is bizarre. It appears that this entire investigation is federally conducted, which means that even if Hood knew about the investigation, the prosecution would be handled by federal prosecutors. There is nothing strange at all about this. It is just the way things are done. The only way that Hood's office would prosecute the case is if his office had done the investigation and obtained the indictment. This is another stretch by partisans to attempt to drag Hood into this fiasco without so much as a particle of evidence. Simply put, federal prosecutors handle federally investigated cases and state prosecutors handle cases investigated by the local and state investigators. It isn't rocket science.

Author
clarkkent
Date
2008-01-17T09:15:13-06:00
ID
116339
Comment

If Ed Peters got paid 70k for brokering the deal for melton that he didn't take, who brokered the deal to reduce melton's felonies to misdemeanors?

Author
justjess
Date
2008-01-17T10:29:12-06:00
ID
116340
Comment

The only way that Hood's office would prosecute the case is if his office had done the investigation and obtained the indictment. This is another stretch by partisans to attempt to drag Hood into this fiasco without so much as a particle of evidence. That is painfully obvious, clarkkent. That may be what the gipper was saying, but I'm sure, either. It is funny to watch the little bloggers try to build an "investigation" without making so much as a phone call, isn't it? It's really why I can't look at much of the "blogosphere" in this state very often. So much of it is filled with over-confident naivete. With due respect to the over-zealous "wankers with keyboards." (giggle)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-17T10:38:50-06:00
ID
116341
Comment

The chatter I'm hearing close to home is much more interesting, by the way, than anything these guys have publicly considered as they're off doing the partisan jig. But unlike them, I cannot share this particular rumor, yet, because it wouldn't, well, be ethical. Hang in there, though: There are likely surprises ahead that, frankly, going to prove that sometimes what is right in front of your eyes is likely the truth if you won't turn your head. Anyway. Sorry for the riddles.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-17T10:42:09-06:00
ID
116342
Comment

I heard on the news (Channel 16) this am that Scruggs was given another month for his lawyers to prepare his case. Reporters are now saying that Patterson said that Scruggs knew nothing about the deal. Are the tapes being remade?

Author
justjess
Date
2008-01-17T10:45:47-06:00
ID
116343
Comment

The case on Scruggs is getting a lot murkier. The tapes have Balducci telling old Oxford judge that Dickie doesn't know about this, now Patterson is saying Dickie knew nothing.... Dickie has a edge of a defense. As for Zach, I know he stated "you could right that motion (or order I forget) on a napkin, it doesn't make a damn" I will stick to the side that these words don't indicate a conspiracy or knowledge of any bribe. It could be the old JD BS. I am an attorney. I know that some, if not most of my profession whom seek out trial work, either for defense or plaintiff, is prone to a tad bit of arrogance and bravado as an understatement. I would doubt that any time a defense attorney or prosecutor told me that I had no chance in hell that there was any dirty play. I KNOW that several brash statements I have made over time regarding my opposing counsel's chances had nothing to do with a fix, but rather ego/a bluff This is getting really interesting. Still I repeat the HANG THEM HIGH AND PUBLICLY if any involved did anything. AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-01-17T23:29:50-06:00
ID
116344
Comment

How long have you been practicing law?

Author
QB
Date
2008-01-18T09:17:16-06:00
ID
116345
Comment

I have been practicing long enough to know a trap question. :) I have also been raised in the profession to curse them for soiling the profession I chose and the profession that my family chose.

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-01-25T00:50:00-06:00
ID
116346
Comment

Over on Sid Salter's blog, he's kinda getting his butt handed to him over his statements about Jim Hood's handling of the MCI case. Sometimes I wonder about his selective use of his reasoning skills: It so doesn't make sense to reduce Wicker's and Hood's actions to the same thing—even if you think they're both bad. It's two conversations, and even Mississippians are capable of non-partisan intellectual thought. It's funny the difference the presentation of actual facts make, huh? Salter really should be better than the journalist wannabes in the local blogosphere who would die before picking up the phone and asking people real questions. I was tickled recently to see one of them refer to his blog rants as "features." Uh, "features" are reported—which is not the same thing as selective surfing. It involves the phone or, as is usually the case at the JFP, live in-person interviews. And, you know, primary quotes (meaning that they're all not taken from other media). (Reporting should never involve e-mail interviews, however, which are forbidden at the JFP. They like to do them at the Ledger, though. Inexplicably.) Certainly, Salter knows how to report, which he proves from time to time. But his statements on his own blog often make him sound more like an amateur blogger than a real journalist. That's too bad.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-01-28T19:08:50-06:00
ID
116347
Comment

Sid Salter is more agenda driven that fact driven.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2008-01-28T21:00:39-06:00
ID
144246
Comment

It is no news that Ed Peters is corrupt. I sat with my jaw dropped as he committed perjury while on the stand in a trial for the sake of saving a few hundred dollars if that much. A dishonesty that he was proud of post trial. It was shocking to see, worse to hear him aknowledge, and worse to think about in retrospect. He did this for no reason and thought his friends would be proud of him - not so. I hate to think of what injustices have gone down because of Ed. I do feel sorry for his very nice family.

Author
Nankar
Date
2009-03-03T06:55:58-06:00

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus