Former mayor sought information on posting probe
A federal magistrate judge rejected former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s request Tuesday that she force the government to provide him with a copy of a report on inappropriate online commenting and other possible prosecutorial misconduct on the part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The decision didn’t come as a surprise. U.S. Magistrate Judge Alma Chasez on Monday strongly suggested she would deny Nagin’s request, telling Nagin’s attorney , Robert Jenkins, that he hadn’t cited any cases in which a judge had ordered prosecutors to provide the defense with a document essentially unrelated to a case.
Nagin is the latest in a string of federal defendants to seek relief in the wake of U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt’s ruling last month setting aside the convictions of five former New Orleans police officers charged in the Danziger Bridge shootings and cover-up. Engelhardt ruled that “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct” — headlined by the pseudonymous online comments posted by former prosecutors Sal Perricone and Jan Mann — left him no choice but to order a new trial.
But Chasez on Monday noted that Jenkins should be able to ensure that his client gets a fair trial by carefully screening the jury pool, and eliminating jurors who have already formed opinions about the former mayor’s guilt or innocence.
Nagin is set to be tried Oct. 28 on bribery and corruption charges.