By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – FBI agent Hal Neilson of Oxford has sued the authors of “Kings of Tort,” a book he claims defamed him and contributed to severe heart problems.
Neilson’s attorney, Christi R. McCoy, recently filed the complaint in the Circuit Court of Lafayette County, asking damages for his mental pain and suffering, attorneys’ fees, court costs and loss of past and future earnings.
He is suing Tom Dawson of Oxford and Alan Lange of Jackson, whose book chronicles the saga of then-Oxford attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and his downfall from a judicial bribery scandal in 2007-2008.
He’s also suing the book’s publisher, Pediment Publishing in Minnesota, and “defendants John Does 1-25 and XYZ Corporation,” who may be liable. The lawsuit says their correct names will be substituted at the appropriate time.
Dawson, Lange and Pediment could not be reached for comment.
Neilson’s lawsuit is just one side of a legal argument. He’s asking for a jury trial.
An FBI employee more than two decades, Neilson recently was acquitted of two federal counts and saw three others dismissed on allegations he lied to investigators about his financial interests in the FBI’s Oxford building.
Earlier this week, the case’s prosecutor dismissed the pending counts, saying the government could not prove them “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Neilson has blamed his legal problems on a feud with then-U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee of Oxford, whom Neilson reported to the Department of Justice post-9/11 for alleged abuse of power with a regional investigation into scores of residents with Middle Eastern surnames.
Dawson was alleged to be part of that investigation, and in the lawsuit, Neilson claims Dawson, Greenlee and others set out “to destroy” him, including through “falsehoods” in “Kings of Tort.”
He also claims that Dawson knew Greenlee authorized government employees to dig into his personal life to find “something” with which to attack him.
Lange either knew or should have known about that, the lawsuit alleges, and that Pediment Publishing “did not check facts” before publishing the “defamatory and false statements” about Neilson.
Greenlee, who could not be reached for comment, consistently declines to say anything publicly about the allegations.