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Tag: Mary Landrieu

Controversy Brewing in New Orleans Over Allegations Prosecutor Posted Harsh Comments Online Under “Eweman”

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

By John Simerman
New Orleans Times-Picayune

NEW ORLEANS — Two of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s strongest backers in Washington expressed concern Wednesday about the recent allegation that a second top prosecutor in his office had posted intemperate remarks online taking bitter aim at targets of federal probes.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., both sounded troubled about the charge by River Birch landfill magnate Fred Heebe that First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann is the caustic online author “eweman.”

Vitter also said he is worried about the delayed public response from Letten, who has yet to offer any public defense of Mann or specifics on the case since Heebe filed his defamation lawsuit against her on Friday.

To read the full story click here. 

4 People Plead Guilty in Prank to Tamper With Sen. Landrieu’s Phones

Sen. Mary Landrieu/govt photo

Sen. Mary Landrieu/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Four conservative activists including political prankster James O’Keefe,  pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to misdemeanor charges stemming from their prank in January to tamper with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office phones in New Orleans, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

O’Keefe, the group leader and the most prominent of the four, was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and fined a $1,500 fine, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

He gained notoriety for wearing a pimp costume in a video that embarrassed ACORN and exposed some less than admirable traits — or at least less than admirable employees — of the non-profit organization.

The other three people were sentenced to  two years probation, 75 hours of community service and fined them $1,500, the paper reported.. They pleaded guilty to entering real property belonging to the United States under false pretenses.

O’Keefe tried using his cell phone to capture two men posing as telephone repairmen in the Senator’s office.

The defendants said in court they did not intend to commit a crime, the Picayune reported.

New Orleans U.S. Atty. Jim Letten Recuses Himself From Phone Tampering Scandal

new-orleans-map-istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

New Orleans U.S. Attorney Jim Letten removed himself last week from the phone tampering scandal involving Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The paper said a press release sent Monday night to reporters stated Letten recused himself from the case because of “various relevant factors.” The release did no specify what those were, but indicated his first assistant Jan Mann would act as the U.S. Attorney for the matter.

The news release said the decision came a day after four men were arrested for tampering with the phones.  Since then, it has become apparent the incident was part of a political conservative prank.

To Read full story click here.

Men Who Tampered With Sen. Landrieu’s Phone Were Pulling a Prank, NBC Reports

new-orleans-map-istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – NBC’s Pete Williams is reporting that the four men arrested Monday for tampering with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s phones in her downtown New Orleans office were not trying to wiretap the phones, but “wanted to see how her local office staff would respond if the phones were inoperative.”

Williams’ attributed the information to a law enforcement official. The group of men were led by  conservative  videomaker James O’Keefe, who once duped the organization ACORN by posing as a pimp.

Authorities charged that O’Keefe, using his cellphone, videotaped two other men who entered the office posing as phone repairmen, who were trying to tamper with the phones.

The U.S. Marshals office arrested them.

Williams wrote that “they were apparently motivated, the official says, by criticism that when Sen. Landrieu became a big player in the health care debate, people in Louisiana were having a hard time getting through on the phones to register their views.”

Read New Orleans Times-Picayune Story

Louisiana Sen. Landrieu Tries to Get Clarification on Status of U.S. Atty. Letten

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

U.S. Atty Jim Letten/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The question that has to be asked — and in fact it has is: What the heck is going on with New Orleans U.S. Attorney Jim Letten?

The legendary reporter Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune has written a story stating that Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office “is seeking clarification from the White House on U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s status, nearly a year after President Barack Obama took office and eight months after Landrieu announced that she wanted to keep Letten, a Republican, in place.”

Alpert reports Democrat Landrieu, the state’s ranking Democrats, should have a significant say in the matter even if the final word is up to the President.

And in April, Landrieu took the unusual step of recommending that Letten, a Bush appointee, stay on as U.S. Attorney. The Times-Picayune reported that recent aides were told not to worry– that Letten’s job is secure.

Still, the paper quotes a Justice Department spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz as saying:”Jim Letten continues to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana without being re-nominated by the President.”

Go figure. It’s like a message from the Kremlin. You need a Kremlinologist to read between the lines.

For Full Story

Dem Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu Says She’ll Back Republican U.S. Atty. Letten’s Bid to Stay On

The Senator had been hinting for months that she would back the current U.S. Attorney. The Obama administration has said that it won’t simply replace U.S. Attorneys because they were appointed by a Republican. So far, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago is the only Republican-appointed U.S. Attorney who has been told he can stay on for good. Letten, who enjoys a great reputation in New Orleans, would be the second Republican appointed U.S. Attorney to get the nod to stay on.

KEVIN McGILL
U.S. Atty. Jim Letten

U.S. Atty. Jim Letten

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said Monday she will recommend that President Barack Obama keep a popular Republican, Jim Letten, as the U.S. Attorney in New Orleans, a powerful patronage post that usually goes to a member of the party that holds the White House.

Landrieu also announced her recommendation that Obama appoint New Orleans Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris to an open U.S. district judgeship in New Orleans and Louisiana State Police Lt. Col. Genevieve “Genny” May as the U.S. Marshal for the New Orleans-based federal district.

But it was the Letten recommendation that was the most eagerly awaited in Louisiana political circles. Letten gained political fame in the state when, as an assistant U.S. Attorney during the Clinton administration, he led the prosecution team that put former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in prison for corruption. After George W. Bush became president, Democrat Eddie Jordan left the U.S. attorney’s post, as often happens with a change in administrations. Letten filled the job on an interim basis then was formally appointed by Bush.

For Full Story

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