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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lawyer in judicial bribery case objects to report

Lawyer in judicial bribery case objects to report
The Oxford Eagle by Alyssa Schnugg - June 13, 2008

An attorney involved in a judicial bribery case has objected to a pre-sentencing report designed to assist U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. in calculating his sentence. Sidney Backstrom, former law partner to Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, filed an objection Wednesday to the report prepared by probation officials, claiming the report exaggerates his role in the bribery case. The report alludes to Backstrom having control or a supervisory role over codefendants Timothy Balducci and former state auditor Steven Patterson.

“Mr. Backstrom is a worker who takes on the yeoman task of getting work out. It is consistent with his role generally in the firm as a roll up the sleeves worker, that Mr. Backstrom performed tasks at the direction of Balducci,” the objection reads. Backstrom, Scruggs, his son, Zach Scruggs, Balducci and Patterson were charged in November for offering $40,000 to Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey to send a lawsuit against Scruggs to arbitration. The lawsuit, Jones v. Scruggs, is a dispute over $26.5 million in attorney fees. All but the younger Scruggs have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe a judge. Zach pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misprision of a felony — which means he had knowledge a felony occurred but didn’t report it to an official. The elder Scruggs and Backstrom are set to be sentenced on June 27. Zach’s sentencing is slated for July 2.

Backstrom also objected to the amount of the “benefit” of the bribe being $5.3 million — a fifth of the $26.5 from the lawsuit and what the codefendants may have gained if the Lackey had taken the bribe and ruled in Scruggs’ favor. Backstrom says the $40,000 amount should be used by Biggers to calculate the sentence. Local attorney Tom Freeland, who has followed the case closely, said the sentencing guidelines are not clear as to how to calculate the amount involved in some kinds of financial transactions. “When the issue is not a simple one of ‘how much money was taken,’ there are commonly arguments about what numbers to use for the calculations required by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.”


Anonymous said...

you really have to love these good old southern boys, this guys objects. The answer is disbar him and put in jail now!

Anonymous said...

judicial bribery, in plain english that means someone paid off a Judge or other court personel. This attorney in a judicial bribery case has no standing to object to anything. He belongs in the brig for an extended period of time and his law license should be removed forever. Many things are wrong here, who is he to object to anything.

Anonymous said...


Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2