New head of New Orleans FBI office says terrorism, corruption will be top priorities

New head of New Orleans FBI office says terrorism, corruption will be top priorities

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The new head of the New Orleans office of the FBI says fighting terrorism and public corruption will continue to be a top priority under his leadership.

Eric Rommal sat down with FOX 8 to discuss Monday's terror attack in New York and the local office's active fight against public corruption.

Rommal comes here after helping lead the FBI's anti-terrorism unit in Washington D.C., and he believes Monday's pipe bomb attack should serve as a wake-up call, though early assessments are that the New York City attacker, was a "lone wolf."

"We have no information that leads us to believe there is a threat to Louisiana bases  on this attack today," said Rommal.

But Rommal has other concerns as he moves into a city where crime and public corruption continue to pose problems.

"Certainly the citizens of the State of Louisiana deserve a government that is elected or appointed that is fair and not corrupt," he said.

Rommal now supervises an office with two public corruption units. Most cities the size of New Orleans have just one, if any. A source tells FOX 8 that those units are in the midst of investigations ranging from State Police to allegations of wrongdoing in the local office of the DEA, but privately some worry about  what appears to be a declining number of public corruption cases, and the possible impact on public corruption staffing.

"I don't know the reason, but these cases are tough to make, and for whatever reason we're not getting as many," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

For now, Rommal is not anticipating any staffing changes.

"Being part of the team that helps reduce crime will help bring the city back to prominence, and I'm excited about the opportunity to be a part of that team and part of the solution," said Rommal.

Rommal says he jumped at the opportunity to move from his native Maryland to take the job in New Orleans, due in part to the history and culture here. He succeeds Jeffrey Sallet, who moved on to head the Chicago office of the FBI.

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.