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DM – Judge’s words...

DM – Judge’s words scrutinized

By: Magnolia Tribune - April 18, 2008

Judge’s words scrutinized

The e-mail sent by Martin said, “I talked to Bill, and Lon Stallings did not say anything about such a conversation with Hood or Lackey. During Lackey’s conversation with Lon, Lon suggested they get the attorney general’s office involved.”

District Attorney Ben Creekmore said the false report was a “huge, huge mistake.”

Thursday, Stallings said he was offended by the false report. “The judge is not a liar,” he said.

Stallings and Lackey know each other from Calhoun City and Stallings worried these reports might be seen by “the folks” back home.

In his testimony Tuesday, Lackey said when he was ready to report the Scruggs bribe conspirators, he first went to Lon Stallings, a local assistant district attorney, for advice.

He did not go to Hood after talking to Stallings because the former Attorney General Mike Moore and Scruggs were threatening to fund and support a new candidate for attorney general if Hood proceeded with a criminal investigation into State Farm over Hurricane Katrina litigation. Stallings said Hood told him this information.

Moore, an attorney for co-conspirator Zach Scruggs, was in the courtroom when Lackey testified and said he had to do a “double take” when he heard Lackey’s statement.

Before Scruggs pleaded guilty, Moore said he had sent his investigator Bill East to talk to Stallings about his and Lackey’s meeting.

However, Stallings did not tell East he thought Hood had been threatened, according to both Moore and Stallings.

Stallings also said he did not know East was working with Moore at the time. Moore took that to mean Stallings never told Lackey he thought Hood was being threatened, even though he Stallings did reveal this information to Lackey.

During their original meeting, Stallings did suggest that Lackey get “wired up” by Roger Cribbs, an investigator for Hood, but Lackey said he did not trust anyone from Hood’s office because he was too close with Scruggs and Moore.

At that meeting, Stallings said the three might not be as close as they seemed, and he told Lackey about Hood being threatened.

Stallings, after speaking with Hood, felt that Moore and Scruggs had threatened to back a different candidate for attorney general, Stallings said.

Lackey decided to go to the federal government to avoid Hood.

Daily Mississippian Online

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This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.