Y’all reports Scruggs denies bribing Judge DeLaughter in Response to Patterson’s cross-claim in Wilson v Scruggs

SLABBED covered the cross claim filed on behalf of Scruggs’ co-defendant Steve Patterson in Eastland stands behind Motion to Dismiss – Greer files cross-claim for Patterson in Wilson v Scruggs.  Alan Lange at Y’all Politics has a post up on the Response from Dick Scruggs: Scruggs denies Steve Patterson, also denies bribing Judge DeLaughter .  I have no doubt Lange and I share a common commitment to justice and factual reporting even when we hang our hats on different facts, their meaning, and context.  However, there’s no disputing these facts about the Scruggs’ response:

In…[the cross-claim]…Patterson’s attorney writes:

4. Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges that Scruggs is guilty of bribing Judge DeLaughter, and defrauding the plaintiff, by and through Peters, and that those actions caused a favorable result in the Wilson case. Patterson had no involvement at all in those circumstances other than introducing Scruggs to the local counsel, Peters. Patterson received no funds, was not compensated in any way, shape or form and is therefore guilty of no active negligence, but at most, passive negligence (which,he denies), and was completely unaware of the possibility that Scruggs would allegedly perform any, criminal act of any sort to bring potential liability upon himself and others.

However Scruggs responds:

4. The allegations contained in the first sentence of paragraph 4 are denied. Scruggs lacks information sufficient to admit or deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 4.

In the next paragraph of Patterson’s cross-claim his lawyers write:

5. Scruggs, according to plaintiff, is allegedly guilty of the crimes charged to him in regard to Judge DeLaughter and has pled guilty to some of the same. Therefore, by his own admission, he is guilty of a crime which is one of the elements requiring common law indemnity in favor of Patterson if Patterson had any vicarious responsibility. Of course, if Patterson has no liability to Wilson, Scruggs is not required to indemnify Patterson. However, if Patterson is found to be liablefor any negligence, gross negligence or under any other theory that did not include his active participation creating civil liability without Scruggs, and he is deemed to be vicariously liable only because of Scruggs’ actions, then he is entitled to complete indemnity for any judgment, settlement, attorney’s fees, costs and other consequential or punitive damages caused by cross-defendant,Scruggs.

To which Scruggs’ side responds in his answer:

5. The allegations contained in paragraph 5 are denied.

Patterson also then contends Scruggs breached a settlement agreement they reached while being transferred to Oxford for the DeLaughter trial. Here is what he wrote:

7. In July 2009, when Scruggs was being temporarily held in Atlanta, Georgia, wherePatterson and Scruggs were both in transition to Oxford, Mississippi as witnesses for the DeLaughter trial, Scruggs, on repeated occasions, told Patterson that he was going to settle this case,that he felt responsible for the case and that when he settled, he would pay sufficient funds to dismiss all defendants, specifically including defendant, Patterson, and defendant, Patterson, would be out no money or settlement funds at all in the case. The consideration agreed to for Scruggs settling the matter on behalf of Patterson was that Patterson would not file a claim against Scruggs. Scruggs has now settled the case without notifying defendant, Patterson, or his counsel, and has materially breached the settlement agreement that Scruggs himself made with Patterson and this action seeks enforcement of that settlement agreement. Patterson requests that Scruggs be required to reimburse Patterson for any settlement, between defendant, Patterson, and the plaintiff, Wilson, or any jury verdict against Patterson, along with attorney’s fees and costs for the wrongful breach of the agreement as well as punitive damages for the intentional and reckless breach of the settlement agreement.

In his answer filed Tuesday, Scruggs also denied this aspect of Patterson’s claim:

The allegations contained in paragraph 7 are denied.

Eastland standing behind the Motion to Dismiss becomes even more understandable, now, and that motion is still pending.  It should also be noted that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling there was no federal jurisdiction to bring certain charges in USA v Whitefield, Teel and Minor has meaning in USA v Delaughter, Scruggs, et al.  There’s certain to be more about both cases.

9 thoughts on “Y’all reports Scruggs denies bribing Judge DeLaughter in Response to Patterson’s cross-claim in Wilson v Scruggs”

  1. “Someone” ought to post the transcript of Scruggs’ February 10, 2009 GUILTY plea to One Count of wire fraud in connection with the DeLaughter bribery conspiracy, which added 2 years to his 5 year sentence for his GUILTY plea in the Lackey bribery conspiracy.

  2. An email message indicates at least one reader is misreading the post; so, as points of clarification, I offer:

    *Scruggs denied bribing Judge Delaughter in his Response to Patterson’s cross-claim.

    *Scruggs did enter a guilty plea in the case.

    *He did not enter a guilty plea to bribery in USA v Delaughter. Restating but not quoting the Factual Basis, his plea was to using the mail in conjunction with “a scheme” or “conspiracy” to influence Judge Delaughter’s decision re Wilson & Scruggs.

    Bottom line: the denial does not conflict with the plea.

  3. And that’s precisely the same kind of “logic” that landed Scruggs and Patterson in the Federal penitentiary, where they both belong. Anyway, it’s really a “moot” point, because “the denial” didn’t really come from Scruggs’ mouth anyway (he knows better than to lie to anyone from where he’s now sitting (they may take away his “commissary” privileges, and he won’t be able to buy candy or chewing gum), but from his lawyer, who simply responded to the Patterson Cross-Claim with lawyer “boilerplate”. It means NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE, and Lange ought to be promoting his book than by focusing on totally meaningless “stuff”, with ALL of the protagonists already in the slammer(has Delaughter reported to prison yet?), where they belong.

  4. Ashton O’Dwyer…now there’s a guy who’s opinion we should respect. Yeah, right! The simple fact that O’Dwyer doesn’t agree with you, nowdoucit, just adds more value to you position.

    Are you an attorney? If so, what can be done? Who has the power & authority to correct the miscarriage of justice that took place when Delaughter was forced to plead guilty to “obstructing” an investigation that was based on an improper & unconstitutional legal theory in order to avoid conviction on equally unconstitutional charges by a jury pool that was tainted by the improper, unethical feeding of inaccurate, out-of-context information to Jerry Mitchell by the federal prosecutors?

    And who can explain to me how these “holier-than-thou” legal experts find such fault with Delaughter and the idea that HE might have talked shop over coffee with a close personal friend…yet they find nothing wrong with the unethical, unconstitutional antics of these federal prosecutors?

  5. Ljm., I’m not an attorney; but it seems common sense should be “controlling” – in which case Judge Davidson would cite the Fifth Circuit’s opinion and declare the lack of federal jurisdiction requires him to dismiss the case in total.

    Keep an eye out for a post here in the next day or so that will explain how “legal experts” find fault with Delaughter”.

    Although he didn’t address that issue, blogger-attorney Will Bardwell, did address the larger issue of the 5th Circuit’s ruling in two postz on his attorney-at-blog (http://bardwellaw.com)



  6. DeLaughter pleaded guilty to prevent other actions he was involved with from being further investigated. What kind of judge would recieve claims settled for millions and keep the awards as he dismissed the victims of the very cause used per settlements without any relief to the those he work to help victmized.

    The fact the state of MS. and their officicals choose to ignor what occurred in this matter [ hppt://mftms13.wordpress.com ]and to keep the awards doesn’t make stealing a legal action. As far as MS. we have seen hell and high waters now how about some simple justice. DeLaughter is a scumbag and no better than some ” so called judges” who still reside over other courts. There is so much corruption that a simple open and shut case can not be ajudicated due the greed, over powering the court and the mind set of those in black robes.

    DeLaughter is part of a group who turned the courts into their own form of magical jurisdiction, which only served his family and friends. So which one are you?

  7. DeLaughter is part of a group who turned the courts into their own form of magical jurisdiction, which only served his family and friends. So which one are you?

    Robert we’re not crazy about guilt by association here. LJM has an opinion and he/she is welcome to express it. I’m loath to censor or delete comments much to my partner Nowdy’s chagrin but it is the basic principal under which we operate.

    I personally don’t think Delaughter deserved to be on the bench based on what we know now, evidently much of which has been some kind of open secret in legal circles in Hinds County for years. The people in Hinds County got just they kind of judge they deserved which is the lesson that is lost in this IMHO. And it makes the legal community here look bad just not because a small time judge was corrupt as that is common in this country, rather because the legal community that is supposedly self policing failed to take out their own trash.

    LJM here at Slabbed we have many frineds in the legal community some of whom Nowdy and I consider close friends that predate our blogging. We’ve never once been told privledged information. That actually gives me faith the vast majority of lawyers take their code of ethics seriously. Ed Peters may have been an old friend and he is certainly a POS but Mr DeLaughter had no business discussing those matters with him period.


  8. sop, you’ll get no argument from me regarding your opinion of Ed Peters. I do, obviously have a different opinion of Delaughter. As for him having “no business discussing” matters with Peters, I understand your point. But I also understand that the relationship between Delaughter and Peters was probably a little bit more than “just friends”..even “close” friends. My understanding is that Peters was Delaughter’s “father figure” . For me, that casts a slightly different light on the issue. While you may never have shared priviledged information with a “close friend”, I’ll bet you HAVE shared such information with your parent (or spouse, or sibling). I know I have. And, just like we don’t expect our parent or spouse or sibling to “use” us or the information we might share with them, Delaughter did not expect Peter’s to use him. I have absolutely NO REASON to believe that Delaughter ever suspected that Peters was using him…at least, not until the damage had been done. I do understand that Delaughter became aware, at some point in time, that Peters was attempting to influence him but I don’t think he ever suspected that Peters was actually being PAID to influence him.

    Furthermore, for the record, I have no problem with the idea that a judge might have ex parte discussions with trusted confidants. See, I don’t think that election or appointment of a judge automatically bestows untold wisdom on him. Personally, I’d have more respect for a judge who considered the opinion of another qualified individual before making his rulings than one who thinks he already knows it all. After all, our laws are never simply black or white. They are all subject to personal interpretation with many, many shades of gray. But that’s just MY opinion.

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