On stand, former D.A. Reed admits to mistakes with campaign finances

Reed defends questionable spending while on witness stand

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Former North Shore District Attorney Walter Reed took the stand in his corruption trial Friday, and admitted that there were some inaccuracies on some of his campaign fund reports.

Reed testified all day, and at times got testy with prosecutors. As a politician, he said he used campaign funds to buy flowers, meals and other gifts to woo supporters. He said he made some mistakes, and said prosecutors spent three years finding every one of them.

Reed said he was a longtime politician who "campaigned every day."

"You can send flowers to supporters," Reed testified. "You can send flowers to people you want to make supporters."

Reed's attorney also showed a $2,500 check that Reed said was his reimbursement to his campaign fund for a meal for a group of preachers.

But he didn't do it right away and told the jury, "I was wrong for that."

However, he said he did reimburse his campaign fund before he was indicted.

Reed also admitted some wording used on his campaign reports wasn't always reflective of what actually happened, and he suggested that's how it was done early on. Prosecutor Jordan Ginsberg grilled Reed about a flawed entry on his campaign report that said a $500 payment for the son of a woman he was dating was for campaign labor when it was really a gift.

Reed: "It was a graduation gift"
Ginsburg: "And that is wrong?"
Reed: "That was absolutely wrong."

Reed said he's not a details person, but if he could go back he would make sure all the campaign reports were accurate.

Reed paid over $500,000 in taxes for 2009-2012. The feds say he owes more.

He testified that instead of indicting him, the feds should have just come to talk to him and  he would have paid what he owed.

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