This letter regarding Steve Patterson, one of five people indicted in the alleged Scruggs scheme to bribe a state court judge, has been circulating around Mississippi, and the authenticity of it appears to check out. The letter is by Stephen Livingston, the president of the Union County bar association, to the General Counsel of the Mississippi Bar, and raises issues of whether Patterson, a non-attorney, was wrongly representing himself to be a lawyer or practicing law without a license. Make sure you keep reading through the attachments. including further letters by Livingston, until you get to the letter by Tim Balducci to Livingston.
[UPDATE: A reader raised the question that, since page 3 of the nine pages of the fax is missing from the documents I have, and that this page would appear to be the page of the August 1 letter that bore the signature of the writer, that it may not be Balducci that wrote the letter, but rather Steve Patterson. I will try to check this out and get back to you. SECOND UPDATE: I confirmed with someone who saw the signature on the letter that it was signed by Balducci].
From the dates of the letters and the time on the fax line on top of the documents, it would appear Balducci got word of the inquiry from the state bar and immediately fired back a letter to Livingston that was built around the sarcastic premise that some nut had stolen Livingston’s letterhead. Check out this paragraph:
These letters are of particular concern to me personally as they clearly evidence the warped inner-workings of the mind of an obviously disturbed and confused individual, as I am sure you will agree. The references in the letters to the writer’s scouring of the internet, phone books and newspapers about me and my firm strikes me as border-line stalking. Frankly, they make me wonder if the unidentified author of these letters might have a "man crush" on me or other members, colleagues. associates [add appropriate terminology to your satisfaction here to refer to same], of my firm.
(Emphasis in original).
Harsh! Did you see that? Balducci "man crushed" him! Now, I do not claim to be a psychologist (however, I have seen people play psychologists on TV!), but this kind of fighting spirit would not seem to me to be that of a man who, as of the date of the letter — August 1 — has been turned by the FBI and knows Patterson, himself and his whole firm are on the verge of far greater problems than allegedly causing confusion over whether Patterson is a lawyer. So this correspondence would tend to support a theory that Balducci did not begin cooperating with the FBI and prosecutors — if in fact he did so prior to his recent plea agreement — until after August 1.
As I have mentioned, the otherwise seemingly inexplicable "extra $10,000" payment that Balducci allegedly told Dickie Scruggs was needed to bribe the judge is evidence that Balducci was cooperating at that point (Balducci apparently never delivered the money to the judge — what would be the point if he were cooperating, since both Balducci and the judge would have known the transaction was fake), and that Balducci went back to Scruggs to get additional incriminating evidence at the direction of prosecutors. But that was in early November. The Balducci "man crush" letter was three months earlier — long after the bribery scheme allegedly began in March, but perhaps with an FBI confrontation of Balducci some time yet in the future.