NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former North Shore DA Walter Reed to four years in jail after he was found guilty last year on 18 counts of public corruption.
Reed left court relieved that his son, Steven, avoided jail time.
"Today is a good day," Walter Reed said. "My son doesn't have to go to prison, I get to go home, and we finally get to lodge our appeal," said Reed.
Judge Eldon Fallon cited Reed's extensive law enforcement experience as one reason for going far below federal sentencing guidelines.
"The most important thing was deviation from sentencing guidelines. The government wanted 10 years, and the judge gave him 48 months," said Reed's attorney, Rick Simmons.
In a separate move, Judge Fallon granted Walter Reed bond on appeal, meaning he can remain out of prison while he appeals his conviction.
"I'm looking forward to the appeal. Campaign spending has never been a crime. In Louisiana, it's civil," said Reed, referring to the focus of a FOX 8 Lee Zurik investigation three years ago,
Prosecutors refused comment on the sentence minutes after arguing in court that Reed spent 20 of his 30 years in office trampling on the trust and integrity of the people who elected him.
"Mr. Evans will be making a statement later on," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Klebba, referring to acting U.S. Attorney Duane Evans.
Reed's attorney will now fight for a new trial for the former DA and state prosecutor who believes federal prosecutors over-reached.
"Today's a good day, peace and love," said Reed as he walked away from the courthouse.
Judge Fallon ordered Reed to pay over $1 million in restitution, fines and fees. But Reed's attorney said no money will change hands until the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issues a ruling.