Three On Your Side Investigates: Petition to Suspend Judge Bobby DeLaughter - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 03/19/08

Three On Your Side Investigates: Petition to Suspend Judge Bobby DeLaughter

DELAUGHTER DELAUGHTER

By Marsha Thompson
marsha@wlbt.net

The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance wants the Mississippi Supreme Court to suspend Hinds County Judge Bobby DeLaughter so that he can't hear any more cases while their corruption investigation is underway.

A complaint filed by attorneys Vicki Slater and Bill Kirksey of Jackson revolves around the "Wilson vs. Scruggs" lawsuit, a dispute over legal fees from an asbestos settlement over which DeLaughter was presiding. In December of 2005, Joey Langston and Timothy Balducci with the assistance of Steve Patterson retained the services of former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters.

Langston has pleaded guilty to judicial bribery in this case saying Dickie Scruggs paid them $3 million to get Judge DeLaughter to rule in Scruggs' favor. For the most part, DeLaughter did just that. Langston admitted Judge DeLaughter was interested in a federal judgeship. Senator Lott  did talk to DeLaughter, but ultimately submitted someone else's name to the White House for consideration. Lott is Scruggs' brother-in-law.

Scruggs and legal associate Sidney Backstrom pleaded guilty last Friday to charges of conspiring to bribe a judge in a separate case. 

We were unable to contact Judge DeLaughter for comment. He has previously denied he was illegally bribed.

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