Balducci pleads guilty

The suspense about whether Tim Balducci is cooperating with prosecutors in the Scruggs scandal is over. He is.  Balducci changed his plea from not guilty to guilty last night (note the date of the filing, although this was not on PACER when I checked it late last night — interesting timing, coming just hours after his arraignment at 1:50 p.m. December 4 where he pleaded not guilty). Click here to see the plea agreement. 

You may also want to note that the arraignment was not held in Oxford before Magistrate Judge Allan Alexander, like the other defendants, but rather in Aberdeen before Magistrate Judge Jerry Davis — perhaps Alexander was busy, perhaps there is another explanation why the arraignment was held in a place that is almost two hours away from Oxford[UPDATE: I’m told by one who was at the arraignment that the PACER documents are misleading in listing the place of the arraignment — Balducci actually was at the courthouse in Oxford, while Judge Davis was in Aberdeen and appeared via a video link].  

SECOND UPDATE: Here’s a story by Alyssa Schnugg of the Oxford Eagle on the guilty plea and the arraignment.

Some aspects of the plea agreement:

  • He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery of an elected state official, which carries a possible penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
  • He agrees to cooperate with the United States in the prosecution of the other alleged conspirators. 
  • The government acknowledges "the fact that the defendant has already substantially assisted the government."
  • He agrees to submit to a polygraph exam.
  • There is no agreement as to the sentence to be imposed, although the government agrees to file a motion asking for a departure from the mandatory sentencing guidelines.

The plea agreement, of course, must be approved by the court.

4 Comments

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4 Responses to Balducci pleads guilty

  1. Just FYI, He did plead in Oxford. He was at the Oxford courthouse but Judge Davis was in Aberdeen via video camera.

  2. Justus

    OKAY, POLYGRAPH – NOW LET’S FINALLY GET TO THE TRUTH!
    As part of his plea agreement, Balducci has agreed to submit to a polygraph examination – it could tell us if the allegations of the indictment are true.
    Now, does anyone think that Scruggs and his indicted crew will also submit to a polygraph exam to get to the bottom of this? Of course, that would end all speculation of Scruggs’ guilt or innocence once and for all. But, I bet you can guess why they won’t do it – and, don’t give me all that bs about admissibility either. Polygraphs are pretty darned dependable. That’s why law enfocement agencies like the FBI and CIA use it, and even some employers.
    If innocent, Scruggs should voluntarily step up for a polygraph and clear his name, regardless of any admissibility in court. What’s there to hide?

  3. Ironic

    Questions of the Day
    1.What will the FBI find on Scruggs computers?
    2.What else will Balducci reveal?
    3.What does AG Hood’s silence mean?
    4.Why did Scruggs raise the white surrender flag this time? (He sure didn’t remove himself after the other recent lawsuits against him.)
    5.If guilty, then what are the chances Scruggs was caught the very first time he attempted to bribe a judge?
    6.Why did Balducci personally represent Scruggs in previous cases if he’s so incompetent and troubled?
    7.What skeletons from Judge Lackey’s past will emerge?
    8.Did Lott have ANY hint of what was happening?
    9.How do the Ridgsy sisters feel about Scruggs now?
    10.When will the 20/20 TV segment with Balducci air?
    11.Will Grisham write the fictional thriller about Katrina?
    12.Will David Rossmiller write the non-fiction book on Katrina?

  4. Bernard Chanin

    Appreciate your zeal in getting to the bottom of this. Blowing the cover of shady, hustling lawyers is a comendable contribution to the law profession. I’m going to follow closely. Keep it interesting.