Peralta case in front of another grand jury

Peralta case in front of another grand jury

CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - A grand jury met Tuesday in St. Bernard Parish to once again discuss Parish President Dave Peralta.

A vote from this grand jury is not expected, but a superseding indictment in St. Bernard Parish could be possible soon. State prosecutors have said all along that was their intent.

This is the fourth time Peralta has been the focus of a grand jury. The other hearings were in East Baton Rouge and St. Tammany parishes.

Last week, a Baton Rouge grand jury handed up a six count indictment against Peralta. He is accused of tapping into campaign money to fund what prosecutors say is a gambling habit.

FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said Peralta's decision to testify before the Baton Rouge grand jury may have done more harm than good. Because in doing so, he is now charged with lying to a grand jury.

Peralta had sought to speed up the legal process because he faces re-election. Raspanti said that is not likely to happen as the grand jury in st. Bernard now discusses and mulls over potentially new charges.

"He had that choice and 99 percent of the time you do decide to not let your client go before a grand jury because this very thing can happen. But now he's got problems in three different parishes," Raspanti said. "They're talking about going back to St. Bernard and indicting him again. So it's a mess for him, it's tough to defend, and I think that was the point all along.

The grand jury in St. Tammany Parish indicted him in September of stalking his ex-wife, Sharon Schaffer. He awaits an arraignment in East Baton Rouge Parish on six charges. And new charges could come any day in St. Bernard Parish related to the alleged sexual battery of Schaffer, as well as public corruption charges.

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