NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin asked a federal judge Wednesday to throw out his indictment on bribery charges, saying the case has been tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.
The alleged misconduct includes anonymous online posts about Nagin by a former federal prosecutor, said Nagin’s lawyer, Robert Jenkins.
The former mayor pleaded not guilty in February to charges he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work.
Jenkins asked for a copy of a sealed Justice Department report on anonymous comments by at least three federal prosecutors, but U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan rejected the request Wednesday.
Jenkins argued in a court filing there is also other evidence of prosecutorial misconduct that will deprive his client of a fair trial, which is scheduled to start on Oct. 28.
Nagin was the subject of anonymous posts by former prosecutor Sal Perricone, who was a top deputy to former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. Perricone resigned after acknowledging his online activities, which also led to Letten’s resignation.
“It is not merely coincidental that the derogatory and damaging online postings by former government counsel occurred during the precise timeframe that the investigation of (Nagin) began,” Jenkins wrote.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt cited evidence of “grotesque” prosecutorial misconduct in ordering a new trial for five former New Orleans police officers. They were convicted of civil rights violations in the deadly Danzinger Bridge shootings following Hurricane Katrina.
Engelhardt said at least three government attorneys, including Perricone, posted anonymous comments on The Times-Picayune’s companion website and created a “carnival atmosphere” that perverted justice.
The Justice Department appointed John Horn, a veteran federal prosecutor from Georgia, to investigate the online commenting scandal and other allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and report his findings to Engelhardt. The report has been kept under seal.
Berrigan ruled Nagin didn’t need the report to defend himself at trial.
“The jury, and only the jury, will determine whether the defendant is innocent or proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” she wrote.
Jenkins said Perricone’s negative comments about Nagin are only a “partial picture of the extent of government misconduct.”
“The government not only acted illegally, but apparently sought to conceal its actions,” he wrote.
Nagin’s indictment was the product of a City Hall corruption investigation that already has resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials and two businessmen and a prison sentence for a former city vendor.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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