Zach Scruggs files Motion to Allow Discovery for upcoming hearing on his Motion to Vacate

Although the Government seems to have conceded that the charge to which Defendant pled guilty (misprision of earwigging) is now a legal nullity, the Government seems to assert that Defendant is guilty of some or all of the bribery charges that the Government previously dismissed. However, under Department of Justice Guidelines, the Government was required to pursue the most serious, readily provable offense or offenses that are supported by the facts of the case … Once filed, the most serious readily provable charges may not be dismissed…. Any sentencing recommendation made by the United States in a particular case must honestly reflect the totality and seriousness of the defendant’s conduct and must be fully consistent with the Guidelines and applicable statutes and with the readily provable facts about the defendant’s history and conduct. …Likewise, federal prosecutors may not “fact bargain,” or be party to any plea agreement that results in the sentencing court having less than a full understanding of all readily provable facts relevant to sentencing.
Policy Memo. of the Attorney General, 9/22/2003 (emphasis added). Indeed, the Government assured the Court in March, 2008 that “all the facts and circumstances” of this case amounted to merely misprision of earwigging. See Motion, D.E. 303 at 19 (quoting the prosecutors).

Zach’s attorney is Edward “Chip” Robertson, former Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. Robertson writes with the very strong pen of a man confident of his knowledge of the law, wasting not a word. I point that out because I’m not certain it’s possible for anyone to summarize the points in his brief; but, I’m certain I cannot. Robertson’s motion with Exhibit A (Requests for Admissions, Interrogatories, and Requests for Documents and Other Things) is below the jump in scribd format.

Judge Biggers, who has a strong pen of his own, may very well grant this Motion with a “Hell, yes, I want to know”. Read it and see if you don’t agree. Continue reading “Zach Scruggs files Motion to Allow Discovery for upcoming hearing on his Motion to Vacate”

Scruggs: the movie – Wow! northern MS just-us justice up on the big screen!

NEMS360 reports, “Longtime Hollywood insider Sam Haskell….has bought the television and film rights to Curtis Wilkie’s book, “The Fall of the House of Zeus”.

The project, said Haskell publicist Nathan Wells, “has the potential to spur a TV-film industry along in Mississippi, which has been one of Haskell’s goals since returning to Mississippi full time.”

“But for both Wilkie and Haskell, the book and the prospective movie also mean a chance to tell parts of the story that most press accounts could not…The story “has to be about redemption,” he added. “We all make mistakes; this was in the public eye in a way that created a perfect storm for misunderstanding.”

Redemption. Mistakes. Perfect storm for misunderstanding – ohdeargod, those words didn’t sit well with north Mississippi’s black- cloud just-us justice crowd.  Late afternoon, however, Zach Scruggs rained on their parade – and redemption, mistakes, misunderstanding took on a different meaning.

“You know Lackey much better than I, but I don’t believe he was taken aback one whit. If anything, I think he expected Balducci’s Of Counsel “assurances.” Look at the other judges and officers who signed on before Lackey … he didn’t want to be excluded.”

However, the really different meaning to Judge Lackey’s role comes when it’s viewed in light of the Government’s lack of jurisdiction to make a federal case out of the state judges’ position – meaning the Government had no “color of official right” to lend to Lackey.  It was this “color” that made a bribe of what otherwise have been Lackey’s extortion of money from Scruggs.  Without jurisdiction, the government was not just without “color” to lend Lackey, it was also without the authority to obtain a wire tap order and Judge Biggers without the authority to issue same –  and, folks, this “really different meaning” is going to make a great movie! Continue reading “Scruggs: the movie – Wow! northern MS just-us justice up on the big screen!”

Judge Senter pops the question! BREAKING NEWS on Rigsby qui tam

TEXT ONLY ORDER: The status conference scheduled for Monday, September 20, 2010, is hereby cancelled. The conference will be rescheduled as soon as all briefing on pending motions has been completed and the Court has had an opportunity to study the parties’ positions.

At the rescheduled hearing, the Court will hear oral argument from both sides on the issue of whether the scope of this litigation should be expanded to include evidence concerning properties other than the McIntosh residence.

The Court will also be interested in ascertaining the parties’ positions with respect to: 1) the merits of the objection of the United States to the recent settlement between the relators and Forensic Analysis and Engineering Corp., 2) the status of the negotiations between the parties and the United States, and 3) the active role, if any, the United States can be expected to take in the remainder of this litigation. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER SHALL ISSUE. Signed by Senior Judge L. T. Senter, Jr, on 09/13/2010 (kbo) (Entered: 09/13/2010)

More to follow in the morning!

SLABBED (sorta) Daily – All over the map: State Farm, DOJ, and BP (July 23, 2010)

  • Starting with a quick note from Main Justice that makes me wonder why the powers that be seem hell-bent to appoint a new northern district Mississippi US Attorney with some connection to USA v Scruggs:

“U.S. Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) confirmed to the paper that state Sen. Gray Tollison is in the running for the post. Tollison, a member of the state Senate since 1996, is chairman of the committee that considers changes to the state’s criminal laws. He is also the son of Oxford attorney and well known local Democrat Grady F. Tollison, according to the paper.”

Not that Gray isn’t a great guy but his father is not only well-know as a Democrat, the Tollison law firm represented John Jones in the lawsuit that became the undoing of Dick Scruggs as well as representing Jones in conjunction with McIntosh v State Farm, the centerpiece of the Rigsby Qui Tam case.

  • Speaking of north Mississippi and USA v Scruggs, the “good neighbor” has shown up in federal court with more hubris than most can muster and a Motion for Return of Property.  The “property” [sic] State Farm wants returned – any who wouldn’t –  is any evidence of the Company’s wrongdoing in the Scruggs files held by DOJ!

Patsy Brumfield ( had the story reporting, “In sworn testimony attached to its motion for return of property, two people say they remember seeing the report and a “sticky note” that court copies show has written on it, “Put in wind file – DO NOT Pay Bill. DO Not discuss.” (emphasis added)

One of those who remembers “seeing the report and a “sticky note” is none other than Lecky King, the State Farm employee who wrote the note (duh)!  OMG, talk about “legal advocacy” that your mama wouldn’t buy.  According to the Motion and Exhibits State Farm filed with the court, the other is Beth Jones  – a claim refuted in the Rigsbys’ Response to a Motion State Farm filed in Southern District Mississippi Federal Court:

Jones actually testified that she had no idea whether she had ever seen the original Brian Ford report, did not know from where the sticky note she saw had come, did not know when the note arrived, and did not even know what the note said. In other words, the sum total the sum total of Jones’s testimony is that, at some point in her time with SLF, she saw a piece of paper with a sticky note on it. Yet State Farm attempts to use that testimony as a pretext for further rummaging through SLF’s files after the close of discovery.