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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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