Monday, August 3, 2009

Pied Piper Plays Eaton's Tune

Previously, we've written about that former DA from Mississippi named Ed Peters, whom we call the Pied Piper.

Looks like he's caused another mess.

Now everyone is asking, "Will the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi do the right thing and criminally prosecute the high-paid executives of Eaton Aerospace?

It seem that Eaton used the Pied Piper to influence a court decision. From yesterday's Clarion Ledger:

[Eaton] the aerospace company alleges former engineers stole trade secrets for military contracts and gave them to their new employer, Frisby Aerospace of North Carolina. Eaton is seeking $350 million in a civil suit. "Ed Peters is expected to testify that he was brought into the case by Eaton, not as counsel of record, but as somebody who could influence DeLaughter," [U.S. Attorneys] said in a document .... Attorneys for Frisby -now known as Triumph Actuation Systems - maintain rulings from DeLaughter began going in Eaton's favor after Peters became one of Eaton's attorneys. Eaton officials called the document reckless. "There are a lot of false statements in here," said Don McGrath, senior vice president of communications for Eaton, said of the document. "In no way did we ask Ed Peters to imply or ask or insinuate that he would do anything improper in trying to influence Judge DeLaughter or any other judge." The prosecutors allege that DeLaughter went against Dunbar's recommendation to sanction Eaton for failing to disclose its use of a paid whistle-blower in the case. "Peters is expected to testify that he recommended to Judge DeLaughter that the court remove Jack Dunbar and find another special master. Ed Peters even took it upon himself to call another attorney to inquire about his availability for appointment as a special master in the case but called back to ask that his name not be mentioned." According to prosecutors, Dunbar didn't hear back from DeLaughter on his recommended sanctions and was removed from the case.... "In short, once Eaton attorneys found themselves in trouble, they brought in Ed Peters into the case to influence DeLaughter," prosecutors wrote. Asked why Eaton decided to hire Peters, a longtime prosecutor, McGrath replied, "There are few Mississippi trial lawyers that have as much experience as Ed Peters."

Experience or influence peddling? McGrath is full of beans.