Hood says his office lacks tools to prosecute - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hood says his office lacks tools to prosecute

Attorney General Jim Hood has been criticized for failing to bring state charges against Dickie Scruggs and Joey Langston in a bribery scandal.

Last week hood told WDAM he didn't want to give the impression of impropriety. Scruggs and Langston have both contributed to a political action committee that helped finance the Hood campaign. Wednesday, hood said his office didn't have the tools to prosecute judicial bribery anyway.

A bill died in committee this week that would have allowed the Attorney General's office to conduct wiretaps on white collar crime suspects. Hood criticized republican lawmakers for killing the bill. Hood said there is no legal authority for him to hire outside counsel to prosecute Scruggs and Langston.

"The DAs are the primary source of prosecutions. The AG's come in and assist them at their request, but it's not our primary responsibility," said Hood.

Hood added "the feds" have all the tools they need to prosecute Scruggs and the others.

It was Joey Langston and Timothy Balducci who settled the MCI/Worldcom case which awarded the state $100 million. They've plead guilty in separate cases of attempting to bride a judge. The attorney general and Dickie Scruggs' law firm worked together to win settlements against State Farm after Katrina. Hood has said if he did file state charges it would be like "prosecuting relatives."

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