Another, Pete Perry, was fired in 1983 after numerous complaints about his management. Months after his departure, Perry was discovered by a longtime employee prowling through the agency's files on a Sunday night. It was later learned Perry had never turned in all his keys when he left the job. Somehow, no criminal or disciplinary action was ever taken by the USDA.
What adds a weird dimension to Perry's Sunday night escapade is that on a desk was found an open file of P.L. Blake, a large-scale agricultural operator from Greenwood who was then a target in a federal investigation into a Texas-based multi-million dollar farm loan scandal. Blake escaped any penalty in that case but several years later was nailed on a federal charge and fined for giving false information on a Mississippi bank loan.
Yes, this is the same P.L. Blake whose name surfaced earlier this year in the bizarre judicial bribery downfall of famed trial attorney Dickie Scruggs. Blake, evidence in the Scruggs prosecution had shown, was paid $10 million by Scruggs and promised up to $50 million to “keep his ear to the ground” and clip news stories (huh?) during Scruggs' management of lawsuits that recovered the multi-billion dollar damages against tobacco companies.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Pete Perry and the PL Blake File
From a story by Bill Minor in the Desoto Times Tribune in on October 16, 2008 -- USDA boss Walters has checkered past -- we find this: