Lawyers Speak Out On Ayers Settlement

Judge Neal Biggers Jr. said the proposal to settle Mississippi's 26-year-long desegregation case seems too pricey.

"What the judge is saying is 'Look, the courts are not going to give you all the relief that you're getting in this proposed settlement, so all of you who are objecting to this thing and say it ought to be bigger and bigger, it's not going to happen. So you'd better be careful what you ask for,'" state Attorney General Mike Moore said.

But lawyers for the plaintiff in the case says he thinks the settlement should go through.

"We were asking for a lot more, and we thought we should have gotten more, but in terms of a settlement, I think it should be approved," attorney Issac Byrd said.

Part of that settlement asks for a 6 year, $68 million academic improvement plan for Jackson State University. JSU would also get part of a $70 million tax funded endowment.

Biggers said the same programs could probably be funded for about half of that. The attorney general is not surprised by Biggers' concerns.

"The state's been more than fair with the plaintiffs in this case," Moore said.

And Byrd agrees.

"I think Judge Biggers will look at what we've agreed to and realize its fair and it's the right thing to do," he said.

The judge scheduled a Sept. 4th fairness hearing to further discuss the settlement.