Law firm files counterclaim in MCI case

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A law firm paid for its work on

Mississippi's settlement with MCI Inc. has filed a counterclaim

against State Auditor Stacey Pickering.

Pickering filed a motion last month with Hinds County Circuit

Judge Winston Kidd to get the $14 million payment returned. The fee

was paid to the law office of Joey Langston for assisting Attorney

General Jim Hood in the 2005 settlement with MCI over tax law


Pickering contends the legal fees could only be paid through a

special fund in Hood's office or from money appropriated by the


MCI paid the fees directly to Langston's firm. Hood has said the

legal fees were negotiated separately.

Kidd has yet to rule on Pickering's motion or the counterclaim.


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)