Balducci, Patterson released from custody

By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

NEW ALBANY – Former attorney Timothy Balducci and former state auditor Steven Patterson have been released from federal custody.

Records at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons show the men were released Friday after serving 24 months in custody for guilty pleas in the attempted bribery of Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.

The payoff was alleged to have been in exchange for a favorable ruling in a legal-fees lawsuit against Scruggs and others in Katrina-related insurance cases.

Patterson reportedly served his final prison days at a Tupelo half-way house, and Balducci was said to have been home even earlier. No official reports were confirmed that information.

The men were indicted in November 2007, along with then-Oxford attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, his son and a law partner. Everyone went to prison.

Balducci was captured on an FBI recording dropping off payments totaling $40,000 to Lackey, who worked undercover in the scheme.

Only Scruggs remains in custody, in a Kentucky facility, with years added to his original sentence for a guilty plea in another judicial bribery scheme.

Balducci and Patterson will be on supervised release for another 36 months.

Patterson served most of his sentence at a Montgomery, Ala., prison facility, while Balducci was in Estill, S.C., and Monroe County for varying periods.