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.