Former NOAH director, accused in scheme, wants info on prosecutors’ posts

Stacey Jackson, the former director of a city-chartered nonprofit agency who is facing federal corruption charges, on Friday became the second criminal defendant to seek new information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling this week tossing out the convictions of five officers convicted at trial in the Danziger Bridge shootings and cover-up.

Jackson’s attorney, Eddie Castaing, filed an extensive motion asking U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to order prosecutors to produce reports on any investigations into grand jury leaks and online commenting by “agents and employees of the government.”

In particular, the motion seeks all the reports by John Horn, the Atlanta prosecutor who was assigned last year to look into the online commenting scandal that erupted in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Horn made at least five reports to U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt, who threw out the Danziger convictions this week based in part on Horn’s findings.

The reports have not been made public.

Jackson is accused of participating in a kickback scheme with several contractors who got work through New Orleans Affordable Homeownership, a city-funded nonprofit that former Mayor Ray Nagin designated to quarterback the city’s blight-fighting efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Scandal erupted in the summer of 2008 when the news media reported that many of the gutting and boarding jobs NOAH was paying for were not being completed.

Four contractors have already pleaded guilty in the scheme and are expected to testify against Jackson, who was indicted this summer. Her trial is set for January.

Castaing’s motion suggests the investigation into Jackson and the others was racially motivated, citing former prosecutor Sal Perricone’s online rants, some of which were delivered in clumsy attempts at African-American dialect.