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Private investigator arrested after allegedly trying to record Sheriff Newel Normand

Robert J. Frenzel Robert J. Frenzel
METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) -

Jefferson Parish deputies arrested a private investigator Friday after Sheriff Newell Normand says he tried to record a conversation Normand was having with associates at an Old Metairie coffee shop.

According to the sheriff, Robert J. Frenzel, a private investigator from Dallas, took off running after Normand confronted him and then someone at Normand’s table snapped a picture of Frenzel.

Police arrested Frenzel on one count of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. They say he was released Friday evening.

According to writer Lamar White Jr., author of the CenLamar blog, Frenzel works for the private investigation firm of J.W. Bearden and Associates. Lamar posted on his website Friday night that campaign finance documents show David Vitter's gubernatorial campaign paid the firm more than $100,000 for work this year.

Normand said he believes Frenzel was spying on behalf of Vitter, a longtime political enemy of Normand’s.

Normand has endorsed Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in the governor's race.

A Vitter spokesman released the following statement late Friday night:

"This person works for a firm that we hired to do research, all within the bounds of the law. This includes John Bel Edwards’ business associate and major donor, and his relationship with the John Bel Edwards campaign. It has nothing to do with Newell Normand.”

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