If I was an adviser to Jim Hood, I would have counseled just letting Judge Acker’s blast against the "so-called law enforcement official" go unanswered, or passing it off with a simple "I took the actions necessary to protect the people of Mississippi and protect the integrity of my office (chuckle), the allegations are false," or "he doesn’t have his facts straight," or "he’s not looking at all the facts and circumstances."
The trouble with the latter is, of course, Judge Acker does know all the facts, and is possibly the only person who knows all the facts relating to the Rigsby sisters’ illicit taking of State Farm claims files. Nevertheless, there is no sense in calling more attention to what Acker said about Hood — saying there was enough evidence for a jury to find he was an active abettor of improper behavior by Dickie "Magic Jurisdiction" Scruggs in playing keep-away with the documents in defiance of Acker’s order.
But Hood is Hood, and so that advice probably would have gone unheeded, because he prefers to make media statements such as the ones in this story sent to me yesterday by a reader.
U.S. District Judge William Acker ruled Thursday that Hood helped his "close confidant" Scruggs avoid handing over papers the trial lawyer wanted for Katrina-related lawsuits against State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.
"We will be filing with a federal judge to redact and take out the unnecessary criticism," Hood said. "It’s unprofessional. This judge has a history of problems dating back to 1988."
Unprofessional? I mean, what do you say to that? It takes one to know one?
And what is this thing he’s going to file with a federal judge to excise stuff from Acker’s opinion, which can be read in its full glory at this post? Is this the promised Motion To Make A Fool Of Myself? And who is this federal judge that he’s going to file the motion with? Is it a U.S. federal judge? Or perhaps a magistrate of the United Federation of Planets? Maybe Captain Kirk can deliver the motion on his spaceship, or better yet, maybe Denny Crane can represent Hood in this action. How would you like to be the staff person assigned to write this "motion"?
You know, this is an instance of picking a fight with the wrong guy, like these people in bars who for some reason want to get into altercations with huge professional NBA and NFL players. (Why is that? You seldom hear about baseball or hockey players being challenged to fights in bars). All this will do is give this story another media cycle, and you might notice, none of Hood’s defenses have been substantive or respond to specifics. The 2008 Hood Self-Destruction Tour — coming soon to a city near you.
UPDATE: Thanks to a reader for sending me this link to a Wall Street Journal editorial about Hood’s woodshedding by Judge Acker. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog also continues its excellent posts about the Scruggsing of Scruggs, the Katrina Follies, the Mess in Mississippi and Hood’s Hoodzpah, with this post.