Both Wilson v. Scruggs and Jones v. Scruggs to some extent were screwed.
At the New Albany meeting, Scruggs was angry. He said he wanted to fire Dunbar and Jones. He characterized Merkel as a junkyard dog and needed someone like that to fight him.
Langston agreed that when Al Luckey took his case before an honest judge it cost Scruggs $17M. Luckey was a companion case with Wilson with many of the same issues. Luckey’s complaint centered on the rights of a former partner and Wilson’s was more of a contract dispute because they had a dissolution agreement.
Norman states that Scruggs at that meeting described Dunbar as “like an old woman.”
Langston does not specifically recall the statement there was to be no 1099, but there was no 1099.
There are a lot of things wrong with the hiring of Peters. No entry of appearance by Peters. Kirksey did enter an appearance and everyone knew he was in the case.
Norman referred to Peters’ statement that Delaughter would follow the law and asked—wasn’t DeLaughter already breaking the law by giving Peters secret access?
Isn’t a judge who is accepting an intangible such as the consideration for a federal judge violating state law?
Langston acknowledged there was something wrong with the contacts between Peters and DeLaughter. It was more than unethical, it was illegal—Langston pled guilty to a felony involving this. He came to that thinking that it was illegal.
It was improper and wrong about the ex parte communication. Whether or not that, in and of itself, is a crime, the court will have to determine. Certainly, Langston’s object was to gain “good will” which is a fancy way of saying they were trying to influence the judge, and that was wrong, it was improper.
Langston was concerned that if DeLaughter ruled for Scruggs on every issue, that would be a red flag. They did not pick and choose the issues they wanted him to rule for them, and it would have been a red flag if he ruled for Scruggs on every issue.
Q. When you dangled a federal judgeship before the judge, you didn’t take a federal judgeship to be a thing of value.
A. I didn’t think it was a thing of value at the time. The judge in this case is going to have to rule on that. … Initially that did not occur to me, but as I had further discussions,” realized another view of it.
Did not ask Peters to have ex parte contact with DeLaughter, but learned of it when Peters talked about it.
The ex parte contact produced favorable treatment. Peters going to to DeLaughter e parte and arguing our points is favorable treatment.
Scruggs knew about the $50K and about anything significant. When Ed Peters reported anything of significance, as to who was right or wrong on various points of law…. [Norman interrupted the answer].
Continue reading Scruggs II trial: Langston cross-examination