Saturday, December 1, 2007

Balducci Cooperating with Government in Alleged Attempted Bribery Case?

The Wall Street Journal has an article -- In Scruggs Probe, Focus Turns to Another Lawyer, by Peter Lattman and Ashby Jones -- that suggests that Timothy Balducci is cooperating with the government prosecutors in connection with the alleged attempted bribery of a Mississippi state judge by Balducci, Dickie Scruggs, and others.  The alleged attempted bribery was supposedly meant to skew the judge's attorney-fee distribution in the Katrina insurance litigation.  From the article:

The indictment also cites several conversations held between Mr. Balducci and others named in the indictment that were held outside the judge's chambers. That, some defense lawyers say, suggests that, at some point in the investigation, Mr. Balducci began cooperating with the government.

"I would not be surprised at all if Balducci was cooperating," said Daniel Gitner, a defense attorney in New York and former federal prosecutor who isn't familiar with the case beyond the indictment and news reports. "There's a tremendous amount of detail relating to what he did in relation to the other defendants. It would appear that a good portion of that probably came from his mouth" because it happened outside of the judge's bugged office, said Mr. Gitner.

He added that while it is possible that there were several wiretaps outside the judge's chambers, "the odds of the government monitoring more than one phone are lower than the government monitoring a single phone. It's complicated for the government to use electronic survelliance."

Furthermore, Mr. Balducci hasn't been arraigned in court this week, while the other four defendants all pleaded not guilty.


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