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FOLO – Tim-ber-r-r-rrrrrrrrrr

FOLO – Tim-ber-r-r-rrrrrrrrrr

By: Magnolia Tribune - January 14, 2008


In patented Mitchell/C-L fashion, this story’s narrative of what actually went down is a chopped-up, chronologically-muddled mess. Best I can tell, though, it runs something like this:

Back in 1994, Dickie Scruggs’s former partners in some settled-out asbestos litigation, Alwyn Luckey and William Roberts Wilson, Jr., sued him in Hinds County court over the splitting of attorneys’ fees. Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter drew the case, and now Joey Langston swears that he “helped Scruggs try to influence” DeLaughter to favor Dickie.

Before long, the plaintiffs’ case split into two separate ones (Luckey eventually ending up $17 million to the good, after which Charlie Merkel, his attorney, began representing Wilson). Wilson’s current attorney, Vicki Slater of Jackson, tells reporter Mitchell that, about a year into that lawsuit, the IRS disallowed some of Wilson’s claimed deductions, telling him he owed the Feds back-taxes. Wilson, by then bankrupt, paid up in full, Slater says, and when the MS Tax Commission considered pursuing him too, the Bankruptcy Court told them nuh-uh.

But in 2001, “Scruggs’ attorneys” [crikey, Jerry, WHO?] “took some of Wilson’s accounting documents received through discovery to [Ed] Peters, then Hinds County district attorney, asking Peters to pursue a tax case against Wilson.” When Peters and one of Wilson’s lawyers later met, according to Vicki Slater, Peters owned that a “high-ranking public official” had asked him to prosecute Wilson.

Mitchell also reports that, “according to statements Scruggs’ lawyers have given federal authorities,” they “expressed concerns” that DeLaughter’s former law partner, Bill Kirksey, “was involved in that lawsuit and decided to hire Peters.” They also say that Peters (who, as ever, cannot be reached for comment) asked for $50,000 in cash for his services – and, Langston being fresh-out-of cash, his colleague Tim Balducci supplied it.


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January 14, 2008

Joey Langston Pleads GUILTY