Balducci released from prison?

OXFORD – Timothy Balducci, the government’s key informant in a judicial bribery scandal that rocked Mississippi, reportedly has been released early from prison.

A source close to the case told the Daily Journal he’d heard the former New Albany attorney was freed from Estill, S.C., federal facility today to serve the rest of his sentence on an electronic monitor.

However, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website says Balducci is still in Estill.

Balducci was arrested Nov. 1, 2007, after he completed a $40,000 payoff to Circuit Judge Henry Lackey, who was working undercover for the FBI.

Balducci was seeking to influence Lackey for a favorable ruling in the lawsuit, Jones v Scruggs, over Katrina insurance case fees.

His subsequent cooperation led to arrests and guilty pleas from Richard “Dickie” Scruggs of Oxford, perhaps America’s most famous litigator, his son, a law partner and Balducci’s partner.

• Read more as this story develops.

Patsy R. Brumfield / Daily Journal