HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A former prominent Mississippi attorney who spent several years in federal prison after pleading guilty to attempted bribery charges was in Hattiesburg Tuesday, promoting a new program which helps adults get their high school equivalency diplomas.
Richard "Dickie" Scruggs spoke to the Hattiesburg Rotary Club about Second Chance MS.
It is a non-profit organization which will work with the state's 15 community colleges to reach out to adults and encourage them to get their GED.
Scruggs hopes to raise $1 million this year to support the program.
"We have some really good advisory board members and I think as people see what we're doing and hear the word, so to speak, they are all in favor of this," said Scruggs.
"The workforce participation rate is very low in the state and the idea here is to give people a second chance to get back into the American mainstream, get a GED and (or) a skill certification."
Scruggs, 69, gained national fame as one of the principle attorneys in the multi-billion dollar lawsuits against the tobacco industry in the 1990s.
But, he was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to judicial corruption charges.
While in jail, Scruggs taught other inmates math to help them get their GEDs.