Saved By the Storm
Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. won’t have to go to trial for federal tax evasion, at least not in early October as originally scheduled.
An indictment accuses Diaz and his former wife of filing misleading tax returns. The indictment says that in 1999 the couple underreported their income by more than $25,000 and in the following two years they failed to pay more than $42,000 in taxes on income they disguised as “loan repayment.”
Earlier this year, the judge was acquitted of federal bribery charges. A tribunal of seven judges, selected by the secretary of state, suspended Diaz with pay as soon as that bribery indictment became public.
Diaz was appointed to the high court by Governor Ronnie Musgrove in 2000 to fill a vacancy. The following year, Diaz was selected to an eight-year term. Before being elevated, Diaz served five years on the state Court of Appeals and six years in the state House of Representatives.