Today’s ruling in the Danziger Bridge case renews public focus on the online commenting scandal in the local U.S. Attorney’s office. That’s the subject of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
NEW ORLEANS -- Judge Kurt Engelhardt’s decision to give 5 New Orleans cops a new trial in the Danziger Bridge case was obviously a painful one. As the judge noted, the case was always about abuse of authority and corruption of the criminal justice system. Sadly, the abuse and corruption occurred on both sides of the indictments — by cops who shot innocent people, and by federal prosecutors who treated this case, and others, like a sideshow.
Judge Engelhardt’s ruling also dropped a bombshell: former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten knew about online comments by his then-top assistant, Jan Mann.
All of this underscores the need for the feds to finish their nearly two-year-long investigation into the local U.S. Attorney’s office — and to make the results public. John Horn, a special prosecutor brought in from Georgia, has led that investigation since Letten resigned in December 2012. So far, the feds have kept a lid on Horn’s report. We can only hope that Judge Engelhardt, or another federal judge, will order the feds to make that report made public.
Nothing short of that will justify anybody trusting the U.S. Justice Department.
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