Nagin seeks trial delay, pointing to prosecutorial misconduct - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Nagin seeks trial delay, pointing to prosecutorial misconduct


New Orleans, La. — Just days after a federal judge granted several former NOPD officers convicted in the Danziger Bridge shooting case a new trial, citing prosecutorial misconduct in the U.S. Attorney's Office, former Mayor Ray Nagin is seeking an indefinite delay in his October 28 trial on corruption charges using the same argument the judge used in the other case.

Nagin is accused of taking cash bribes and gifts from city contractors. Nagin vehemently denies the accusations.

His attorney, Robert Jenkins, filed a motion in federal court seeking a delay in the trial after U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt earlier this week slammed top prosecutors who worked under Jim Letten in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Letten resigned amid the growing scandal about misconduct by some of his staffers. Former top tier federal prosecutors Sal Perricone and Jan Mann admitted making online comments about federal cases and investigations.

In the motion filed on Nagin's behalf, Jenkins points to comments which he said seemed to be authored by Perricone about Nagin. One included in the court document was from 2009 and the poster's handle was "Campstblue."

That posting said, "For all of you who have a penchant for firearms and how they work, Ray Nagin lives on Park Island." Nagin indeed lived in the Park Island section of Gentilly.

FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti weighed in on the Nagin trial delay request.

"Other attorneys may want to do this, but Mr. Jenkins and his client Mr. Nagin I think are uniquely possibly situated because he's a guy that we know. Sal Perricone blogged about [Nagin] on more than one occasion I believe, so he fits certainly into the category, as did those other ones that earned a motion for a new trial," said Raspanti.

In the motion for a delay in Nagin's trial, Jenkins wrote, "Now that Sal Perricone and Jan Mann, both former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, have acknowledged postings on-line about various criminal investigations and criminals trials before this Court, it is more than just a reasoned conclusion that postings by one or both of them as well as other federal prosecutors affect Mr. Nagin and his ability to obtain a fair trial as well as his concerns as to whether due process and impartial proceedings have occurred during the pre-indictment stages."

Jenkins' motion on Nagin's behalf also makes requests to see reports from a federal probe into misdeeds by prosecutors who worked under Letten.

"We haven't seen either one of those. Mr. Jenkins says 'I need to see those to see whether or not my client has been prejudiced by the actions of these U.S. Attorneys,'" commented Raspanti.

A judge has set an October 9 hearing on the motion filed by Jenkins.

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