As an update from a prior blog, former Mississippi Chancery Judge Joe Dale Walker, has pleaded guilty to Federal charges.
Walker, formerly of the 13th Chancery Court district which includes; Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Simpson and Smith counties, was on suspension by the Mississippi Supreme Court for his on-the-bench conduct. He pleaded guilty this week to federal charges that included that he instructed a federal grand jury witness to destroy documents and then lied to FBI agents about it.
According to the FBI, Walker directed an attorney (the witness) he had appointed for a Conservatorship to solicit bids for the construction of a home for the ward. Of the bids obtained, one was from the Judge’s nephew. The Judge reviewed the bids in his office and instructed his nephew to increase his bid. Walker then transferred the case to the other Judge in the district for the limited purpose of accepting and approving the bid because of his nephew’s involvement. After the contract was awarded to Walker’s nephew, the case was transferred back to Walker by the second Judge.
Walker, knowing that a Grand Jury subpoena was outstanding for information concerning the bidding process, spoke with the witness about instructing his nephew to increase his bid and the original bid and any existing copies.
When interviewed by the FBI, Walker denied talking with the witness about his nephew’s bids and denied telling the witness that the original low bid needed to be “somewhere else.”
U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette III will sentence Walker Jan. 8. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Judge’s suspension, resignation, and guilty plea were a result of the joint efforts of the Mississippi Judicial Performance Committee and the FBI- Public Corruption Unit.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and warns you to NOT lie to the FBI!
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.