Edwards seeks early release

Former governor  files his own motion

Former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards wants an early release from post-prison supervision on his 13-year-old racketeering conviction.

Federal prosecutors in New Orleans filed a memorandum in support of Edwards’ request late Friday in Baton Rouge federal court.

The 40-year fixture in Louisiana politics lost his law license because of his felony conviction, but Edwards filed his own motion for elimination of the final 18 months of his three-year term of supervised release on Jan. 10, court records show.

Fined $250,000 and ordered to forfeit $1.8 million after his racketeering conviction, the former governor, 85, said in his motion that he has “paid all fines and forfeitures.”

Edwards, who is scheduled to begin a reality television series next month, was convicted in 2000 on racketeering, fraud and other charges related to the rigging of riverboat casino licenses. After an unsuccessful appeal, the state’s only four-term governor began serving a 10-year federal prison term in October 2002.

In January 2011, Edwards was released from prison and ordered to remain under home confinement in Denham Springs until July of that year.

Since then, Edwards has served 18 months of his three-year term of post-prison supervision by the federal Office of Probation and Pretrial Services.

Edwards said in his motion that he “received no disciplinary write-ups” while he was in federal prison. He added that he “has satisfactorily met all of the conditions of his supervised release to date.”

Although Edwards was tried and convicted in Baton Rouge federal court, his indictment was obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans.

Fred P. Harper Jr. wrote Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson, of Baton Rouge, on Friday that he was a member of the prosecution team in Edwards’ racketeering case.

Harper added that the Office of Probation and Pretrial Services has “no objection to the early termination of (Edwards’) term of supervised release.”

Signing his court filing as both a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Baton Rouge area and first assistant U.S. attorney for the New Orleans area, Harper told Jackson prosecutors have no objection to early termination of Edwards’ post-prison supervision.

Edwards told Jackson that he lives in Gonzales with his third wife, 34-year-old Trina, and her two sons.

Trina Edwards confirmed Jan. 4 that she and her husband are in a new television series, “The Governor’s Wife,” which opens at 9 p.m. Feb. 27 on A&E. The couple met while he was an inmate at a federal prison facility in Oakdale in Allen Parish.

The show, according to A&E, also will feature Trina Edwards’ minor sons and Edwin Edwards’ daughters from his first marriage, 62-year-old Anna and 60-year-old Victoria.

As of 5:15 p.m. Monday, Jackson had not filed any decision on Edwards’ request or scheduled any hearing in the matter.

Edwards was governor from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988 and 1992 to 1996.