|July 28, 2009||Wow, Judge DeLaughter to plead guilty Thursday!||no comments|
|July 27, 2009||Nunnelee may face tough Qs on stimulus||1 comments|
|July 27, 2009||Man, 75, sues to recover retirement lost to Stanford||no comments|
|July 27, 2009||Dad-gum-it boys, it is hot in Conroe!||no comments|
Truthfully, few reporters really expected the U.S. Attorney's Office to let disgraced Hinds Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter plead guilty to anything.
Lots of folks thought somebody really wanted BD to go through a trial on charges he allowed himself to be bribed by Richard "Dickie" Scruggs and others to subvert a legal-fees lawsuit filed years ago by then-Jackson attorney W. Roberts Wilson against Scruggs.
But by mid-afternoon today, it was clear BD will plead guilty to lying to investigators into these allegations. He faces 20 years in prison.
Not sure, but the other counts may be dismissed or at least held in abeyance until they get something from DeLaughter, like the full story?
But 20 years is better than the 85 he faced, if convicted on all five counts of his January indictment.
It will be interesting to see what the plea agreement looks like and how much about the bribery scheme will be revealed.
We won't get any testimony from Scruggs or Joey Langston, Steve Patterson or Timothy Balducci.
We won't get any testimony from Trent Lott or BD's former boss, ex-Hinds D.A. Ed Peters, who apparently got the golden parachute in this case without being indicted.
So, what will we really know when DeLaughter pleads guilty? I don't know.
But I suspect quite a few people breathed a sigh of relief that there won't be a trial. Dirty laundry, you know.
Is this the end of the three years of judicial bribery scandal investigations in North Mississippi and elsewhere?
The case these charges are about – Wilson v. Scruggs - is alive in Hinds County and also in federal court.
Maybe its going to trial will be the only way the public hears the details.
But that would occur only if they don't settle the cases.
Hang in there, guys.
Reporting from Aberdeen Thursday... patsy
Tupelo Republican state Sen. Alan Nunnelee got his political campaign rolling Monday, officially, with paperwork to the Federal Election Commission.
Nunnelee seeks to oust incumbent Rep. Travis Childers, a conservative Dem from Booneville. The election is in November 2010, 17 months away.
Nunnelee says he's "excited" at the prospect.
I groaned at the prospect, but hey, it's great to be working and contributing to the regional chatter about politics, a staff of life for some of us weirdos.
Joe Atkins, a longtime political nerd and Ole Miss journalism prof, has some interesting observations on first blush per Nunnelee's news.
1. In Mississippi, it's really hard to unseat an incumbent, so it's going to take a big effort by anybody to do so.
2. Childers is a serious "Blue Dog" Democrat, one of those cantankerous, ornery fiscally conservative congressmen who challenge President Obama's ideas right and right (not right and left, it's a joke). They want to know how things are going to be paid for because they vote for them, generally. So, it's going to be hard for Nunnelee to make the "liberal" tag stick on Childers, a former Prentiss County chancery clerk.
3. Childers also has been doing what his constituents want him to do.
4. Campaign money tends to tilt toward the guy (or woman) who's been there.
5. And conservative Nunnelee is wading into deep water if he wants to criticize Childers for supporting economic stimulus efforts. Childers opposed early bailouts, and Nunnelee – as the Senate Appropriations Chairman – pretty much had to kiss the federal money to solve the state's deep financial hole.
But it's very early, and we'll all be half insane by the time this election and others in 2010 are over.
Pray for us all .... patsy
We courthouse-watchers wondered when the first local lawsuits would come rolling out by people who claim they lost their life savings and/or retirements in the Stanford Financial debacle.
Walt Walton, 75, of Tupelo has sued former Stanford financial planner Neal Clement of Saltillo for more than $400,000 Walton says he invested with Clement, who allegedly never told him things were going into the toilet. He also wants punitive damages.
In fact, Walton claims Clement told him things were so great he'd invested $8 million of his own dad's money. The lawsuit, filed in Lee Chancery Court, also claims Clement failed to tell Walton he'd withdrawn his dad's money later on.
Of course, these are just allegations. Clement didn't answer a call to his home, and his Jackson attorneys haven't answered either.
Walton apparently had to go back to work, looking for used cars for area lots.
We'll see if anybody else comes out of the woodwork.
Keep readin' ... patsy
Jailed mega-financier Sir R. Allen Stanford’s sweating it out in a Conroe, Texas, jail cell – quite literally.
It’s been at least 100 throughout central Texas this past week, and Stanford – who is used to the island breezes of Antigua – isn’t enjoying his stay in Conroe, where his attorney says conditions are “intolerable” – high heat, at least 8-10 guys in the same cell, no power!!
Shee’s, I’d be unhappy to. I bet it stinks in there!! They shouldda mentioned that, too. The judge might have been more sympathetic with that details.
Anyway, Stanford’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, has tried and tried to get him out of Conroe. First, he said they weren’t very helpful with allowing for attorney visits.
Now, we learn Sir Allen’s been “in total darkness” in his crowded cell for part of last week and without A/C for at least a week. He also says they don’t have ANY WINDOWS.
Well, no kidding.
Stanford and DeGuerin want him moved to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility in downtown Houston because of this suffering, as well as need to prepare “for his complex trial.”
No trial date yet, but he and other co-defendants have a hearing court date in September.
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No big surprise: State Republican Sen. Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo has filed candidacy papers to run for Congress against conservative Democrat Rep. Travis Childers of Booneville.
Nunnelee’s been hinting for months, then he turned up at a GOP training camp in D.C., after all-but-saying to the Daily Journal he was running.
The race is in 2010, which means Nunnelee has one more regular session of the Legislature to deal with before voters make a choice.
That can’t be very much fun as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee to be looking over your shoulder or gauge your decisions, worrying about the political fallout.
* * *
More to come… Patsy