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SH – 2 plead guilty in Scruggs...

SH – 2 plead guilty in Scruggs probe

By: Magnolia Tribune - January 15, 2008

2 plead guilty in Scruggs probe

Court papers released Monday show that former state Auditor Steve Patterson has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with Scruggs and others to bribe state Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey. Patterson also is cooperating with investigators.

Patterson, Scruggs and Scruggs’ son were among those indicted Nov. 28 on charges of offering Lackey a bribe in a dispute over $26.5 million in attorneys’ fees from a mass settlement of Katrina lawsuits. Patterson is not an attorney but worked for a north Mississippi law firm.

Meanwhile, other court records unsealed Monday show that attorney Joey Langston pleaded guilty last week to conspiring with Scruggs in a scheme to influence Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter for a favorable ruling in a separate dispute over attorneys’ fees. Langston also is cooperating with prosecutors.

DeLaughter, who presided over a 1994 lawsuit against Scruggs in which other lawyers were seeking a greater share of fees from asbestos cases, has not been charged with any wrongdoing and he denies accepting any type of bribe.

Sun Herald

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January 15, 2008

Scruggs Nation, Day 49