NEW ORLEANS -- Two former officials with the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office charged with bribery last week are now prepared to go to federal court and plead guilty.
John Sens, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office purchasing director, will soon go from criminal defendant to convicted government witness.
Sens is set to go to court next Wednesday and plead guilty to bribery, in which he will admit taking Blue Dog artwork, a backyard swimming pool and cash from a contractor.
Also charged in the big-rigging scheme is Gerard Hoffman, a former maintenance chief who is expected to admit taking bribes in the form of a trailer, a storage container and work on his house. His arraignment is set for next Tuesday with a re-arraignment to follow.
Once those guilty pleas are recorded, the feds are expected to proceed quickly to other potential targets, inside and outside the sheriff's office.
"The question is, are there others who are involved, or who were involved, who had information about the activities of Mr. Sens and Mr. Hoffman?” said Eyewitness News legal analyst Donald “Chick” Foret. “The investigators will have to take the information that was given to them - or will be given to them by Mr. Sens and Mr. Hoffman - and will have to build on that information and they'll go in whatever direction that evidence leads them."
Eyewitness Investigates has confirmed through multiple sources that two contractors are next in line to cut their own deals. John Killeen, an electrician, and Richard Molenaar III, an air-conditioning contractor, have already been talking to federal authorities.
Molenaar's attorney, Frank DeSalvo, said he will continue those discussions while Killeen's attorney, Vinny Mosca, said any comments right now would be premature.
Whether the cooperating witnesses can provide incriminating evidence against others is still unknown, but at this pace, federal authorities will soon find out.