Lee Zurik Investigation: Walter Reed slams "obsessed media" - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Lee Zurik Investigation: Walter Reed slams "obsessed media"

Morgan Stewart (Source: LinkedIn) Morgan Stewart (Source: LinkedIn)

The campaign committee for St. Tammany's embattled district attorney has hired a new spokesman and released a lengthy statement, in response to news investigations of his campaign spending, his work outside the DA's office and other points of concern.

FOX 8 News, our partners at NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune and other news outlets received the statement Wednesday afternoon from Morgan Stewart, who will "act as spokesperson regarding any issues related to campaign matters, my outside income, or my family," according to the statement itself.

Reed's statement does not respond in detail to our questions regarding the DA's working arrangement with St. Tammany Parish Hospital, which Reed ended in late May following our broadcast report on that deal.  But the statement, more than 1,400 words in length, does raise numerous other points:

  • Reed cites media requests for "an extensive number of 'public records' from my office on virtually a daily basis," and says "the sheer number and repetitive nature of such requests has created a drain on my office's resources and a distraction from the primary function of administering justice in the Courts."
  • The statement takes issue with our probe of Reed's campaign spending.  "It is important to note that campaign funds are not in any way public funds," the statement reads, but are monies contributed by my supporters to aid my political efforts. Unfortunately and incorrectly, members of the media have used the terms campaign funds and public funds as though they are the same. This badly and perhaps intentionally misrepresents the facts."
  • In a section of the statement entitled "My Family," Reed addresses our reports of his brother Richard's work at St. Tammany Parish Hospital, suggesting that reporters have "twisted the truth for the sake of sensationalism. His only offense is that he was my brother during a media frenzy."  The statement goes on to say, "While Richard, in light of the media's attempts to vilify him, has chosen to leave and avoid distractions to St. Tammany Parish Hospital, he deserves better from an obsessed media than being attacked for merely being my brother."

Click this link to read the DA's statement in full.

As for Stewart, he owns and operates a public relations firm called Stewart Communications and is a former public relations representative for Entergy Louisiana. The statement sent Wednesday points out that Rick Wood remains spokesman for the DA's office.


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