Jim Hood: Contracts for Contributions?

The American Tort Reform Association released a report on Attorneys General in six states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York and West Virginia. The Report is titled: “Beyond Reproach? Fostering Integrity and Public Trust in the Offices of State Attorneys General.”

Sadly for Mississippi, Hood has not operated his office “beyond reproach” or else this, er, reproach would not be directed toward him. Even if he did everything right, it smells so bad that he has diminished the confidence of the people in his office. Consider this from the Legal Newsline coverage of the report:

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has seen several of his largest contributors run afoul of the law. Dickie Scruggs and Joey Langston are both in jail for judicial bribery schemes.

In the five years following Hood’s election in 2003, he hired at least 27 law firms to file at least 20 lawsuits, the report says. Those firms and their attorneys gave Hood $543,000 for his campaigns.

One of those firms is Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman, which was selected to represent a state retirement fund in a lawsuit against Delphi Corp. that resulted in a $333 million settlement and $40 million in attorneys fees.

The firm has given $149,056 to Hood since 2005. Hood also received $75,000 from Houston-based Bailey Perrin Bailey, which he chose to represent the State against Eli Lilly.

So you contribute to a campaign and then get a contract from the state and make millions of dollars. Some will say that happens all the time. You put in a bid, the application is reviewed, some independent committee picks the best deal for the state, and you shouldn’t be punished for contributing to a candidate.

The difference here? Jim Hood picks who gets the contracts. There are no bids. No applications. No independent review. The guy who gets the contributions is also the guy awarding the contracts. Like I said, maybe he did everything right, but it still smells and that alone brings the reproach.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Dickie Scruggs, Fundraising, Jim Hood, Joey Langston

One Comment on “Jim Hood: Contracts for Contributions?”

  1. Monex Says:

    Thats become a sleazy practice in many states and it is finally coming under scrutiny — notably in Mississippi home of Dickie Scruggs Attorney General Jim Hood and other legal pillars..The Mississippi Senate recently passed a bill requiring Mister Hood to pursue competitive bidding before signing contracts of more than 500 000 with private lawyers. Mister Hood is trying to block the law in the state House and no wonder considering how sweet this business has been for him and his legal pals…Weve recently examined documents from the AGs office detailing which law firms he has retained. The results show that some of Mister Hoods largest campaign donors are the very firms to which hes awarded the most lucrative state contracts..


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