Minor seeks delay, time to pay fines

Published 11:12 pm Saturday, September 15, 2007

Paul Minor, a Gulf Coast attorney sentenced to 11 years in prison for bribing judges, has asked that his sentence be delayed pending appeal.

If that motion is not granted, Minor wants more time to pay fines and his release from jail until federal prison arrangements are made, according to court documents.

In a motion filed Friday at federal court in Jackson, Minor, convicted in March on judicial bribery charges along with two former coast judges, claimed the amount of money he is ordered to pay could change on appeal. He also claims it is a hardship to pay more than $4 million within 30 days of the Sept. 7 sentencing.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate revoked Minor’s bond more than a year ago for drinking excessively. Minor’s alcoholism has been addressed, attorneys wrote, asking for house arrest or other options.

Former Circuit Judge John Whitfield and former Chancery Judge Wes Teel are free on bond and must turn themselves in on Dec. 27.

“There is no reason other than punishment for the court not to provide (Minor) with the same mercy period of collecting his life than the court has provided” Whitfield and Teel, Minor’s attorney say in the motion.

Wingate fined Minor $2.75 million and ordered restitution of $1.5 million plus interest, the latter to be paid in half by Teel. The restitution involves a company that settled for $1.5 million in Teel’s court.

Whitfield was fined $175,000. In a personal-injury lawsuit, Whitfield awarded $3.6 million to Minor’s client. The Mississippi Supreme Court later reduced it to $1.6 million.

Whitfield was sentenced to nine years and two months. Tell was sentenced to five years and 10 months.