WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has declined appeals of corruption convictions from a prominent Mississippi lawyer and two former state judges.
The justices on Monday let stand without comment a ruling by a federal appeals court that upheld most convictions of the lawyer, Paul Minor, and the judges, John Whitfield and Wes Teel. The men were convicted for their roles in a complicated scheme involving loans for the judges and allegedly favorable rulings in civil cases involving Minor.
Prosecutors said Minor orchestrated a complicated scheme in which he guaranteed loans for the judges, then used cash and third parties to pay off the loans. They allegedly ruled in his favor in civil cases.
Before being indicted, Minor was considered among the top personal injury lawyers in Mississippi, amassing a fortune by suing tobacco, asbestos and other companies. He has long said he was the target of a political prosecution by the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.
The cases are Minor v. U.S., 09-1422, Teel v. U.S., 09-11039, and Whitfield v. U.S., 09-11067.