Major investigations continue despite Letten's resignation - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Major investigations continue despite Letten's resignation

Updated:

New Orleans, La. - New Orleans top federal prosecutor resigns amid a scandal that threatened to undermine some of his biggest cases.

Jim Letten, a crusader against crime, is responsible for many convictions but he steps down at a time when his office is in the midst of several high profile investigations.

One probe involves former Mayor Ray Nagin's administration.

The probe has already resulted in the guilty plea of two businessmen, Rodney Williams and Frank Fradella.

Both said they bribed an unidentified city official during Nagin's tenure.

Sources tell FOX 8, that public official is Ray Nagin.

During his resignation speech, Letten indicated that despite his departure, prosecutors will not give up on pending investigations.

"We cannot and will not look backward or go back. We have to continue to go forward," says Letten.

FOX 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti says Letten played a major role in the U.S. Attorney's Office but the focus remains the same.

"He makes the decision on who gets indicted and who doesn't but we know who the next big indictment is going to be. It's Ray Nagin," says Raspanti.

Letten's office is also in the midst of a criminal investigation into how contracts for a temporary jail facility were handed out.

A Grand Jury issued subpoenas back in June and sources say the investigation focuses on John Sens, the former director of purchasing for Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

Letten says the department he leaves behind is strong.

Former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg agrees.

"I do not believe that Jim's resignation and the replacement of Jim Letten by and Acting U.S. Attorney will affect the integrity of the investigations or will slow them down," says Rosenberg.

Letten's resignation will go into effect next Tuesday.

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