Eyewitness News has confirmed that the FBI is investigating how more about 1,200 DWI cases were handled under the former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel Jr.
Morel's successor, current District Attorney Joel Chaisson, said his office helped respond to an FBI subpoena last week by providing records from DWI cases handled by Morel during his final term in office from January 2009 through May 2012.
“I have been asked by the FBI not to comment, other than to say that this investigation doesn’t involve me,” Chaisson said. “This involves cases that were handled before I took office. We assisted the federal authorities with all of their inquiries and we provided all the records they requested.”
The subpoena also asked for a grand jury to be convened in United States Federal Court on Thursday, Jan. 17, according to the St. Charles Herald-Guide, a weekly newspaper based in Boutte.
The records demanded by the FBI included those for "all individuals who were arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) for which court files exist, whether or not the case was prosecuted, not prosecuted, dismissed, refused, or referred to pre-trial intervention," the Herald-Guide reported.
Morel, who stepped down in May 2012 after 33 years in office, could not be reached for comment.