Tall tales and coverying a$$ – former US Attorney (mis)speaks about Scruggs case in presentation to Memphis Rotary

Coffee in hand, I found an email message waiting for me to wake up and get going this morning – and Former U.S. Attorney Greenlee Discusses Big Cases did ever more get me going.  Going straight to my bookcase to confirm that Greenlee was trying to cover his a$$ when he told tall tales to the Memphis Rotary Club:

Circuit Court judge, Henry L. Lackey, came to see…[him]…without an appointment to say there had been an attempt to bribe him with $40,000 by a young lawyer working for Scruggs.

Greenlee’s a$$ is certainly exposed; but, before that discussion, let’s take a look at what I found in my bookcase.

“During the first week of April 2007, John Hailman, Chief of the Criminal Division, came into First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson’s office and closed the door.  Hailman had been contacted by Judge Henry Lackey and, at the Judge’s request, had a lengthy meeting with him earlier in the day”.  (Kings of Torts, page 123)

“On the morning of April 11, two weeks after his meeting with Balducci, the judge telephoned his old friend John Hailman, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford and told him, “John, something’s come up and I really need to see you”. (The Fall of the House of Zeus, page 149)

Clearly, Judge Lackey did not contact Greenlee and when he came to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he came after making arrangements to meet with John Hailman.

Tall tale, part two – there was no $40,000 to mention.  Returning to my bookcase, we find:

Balducci sought rulings in favor of Scruggs, and, during the same conversation, he offered an “of counsel” position to the judge in Balducci’s firm when the judge stepped down from the bench. (Kings of Torts, pages 123 -124)

It was some five months later before money was mentioned – and, even then, it was the Government that brought the subject up and Judge Lackey who decided the amount.  In part, that aspect of the case is the reason Greenlee needs to cover his a$$.

As tantalizing as Judge Lackey’s report must have been, a competent U.S. Attorney would have known immediately there was no federal jurisdiction.  In other words, Greenlee had no authority to conduct an investigation, much less offer Judge Lackey the protection of official right to commit extortion by asking Balducci for $40,000 in exchange for a favorable ruling. Continue reading “Tall tales and coverying a$$ – former US Attorney (mis)speaks about Scruggs case in presentation to Memphis Rotary”