An infuriating tale of malfeasance among what should have been the state's most trusted servants
From 2003 to 2009 sensational judicial bribery scandals rocked Mississippi's
legal system. Famed trial lawyers Paul Minor and Richard (Dickie)
Scruggs and renowned judge and former prosecutor Bobby DeLaughter
proved to be the nexus of these scandals. Seven attorneys and a former
state auditor were alleged to have attempted to bribe or to have actually
bribed five state judges to rule in favor of Minor and Scruggs in
several lawsuits. This is the story of how federal authorities, following
up on information provided by a bank
examiner and a judge who could not
be bribed, toppled Minor, Scruggs, and
their enablers in what was exposed as
the most significant legal scandal of
James R. Crockett details the convoluted
schemes that eventually put
three of the judges, six of the attorneys,
and the former auditor in federal prison.
All of the men involved were successful
professionals and three of them, Minor,
Scruggs, and fellow attorney Joey
Langston, were exceptionally wealthy.
The stories involve power, greed, but
most of all hubris. The culprits rationalized
abominable choices and illicit
actions to influence judicial decisions.
The crimes came to light in those six
years, but some crimes were committed
before that. These men put themselves
above the law and produced the perfect
storm of bribery that ended in disgrace.
The tales Crockett relates about
these scandals and the actions of Paul Minor and Richard Scruggs are
almost unbelievable. Individuals willingly became their minions in
power plays designed to distort the very rule of law that most of them
had sworn to uphold.
James R. Crocket, Madison, Mississippi, is professor emeritus
at the University of Southern Mississippi and adjunct professor of
accountancy at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Hands
in the Till: Embezzlement of Public Monies in Mississippi and Operation
Pretense: The FBI's Sting on County Corruption in Mississippi, both
published by the University Press of Mississippi.
288 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, bibliography, index