NEW ORLEANS - Defendants in the Danziger police shooting case want the lead prosecutor thrown off the case.
Their attorneys filed a motion to disqualify Barbara "Bobbi" Bernstein, deputy chief of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
In September, trial Judge Kurt Engelhardt threw out the convictions of five former New Orleans police officers accused in post-Katrina shooting of unarmed civilians and alleged cover-up.
Engelhardt ruled there was prosecutorial misconduct stemming from an online commenting scandal involving three senior prosecutors, former AUSA Sal Perricone, former First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann and DOJ Civil Rights Attorney Karla Dobinski.
Danziger defense attorneys argue that Bernstein had a decades-long professional relationship with Dobinski. They also claim Bernstein has yet to respond to their question as to when she learned about Dobinski's online posts.
The attorneys stated in their motion that "Ms. Bernstein's silence only heightens the defendants' concern that she knew about Ms. Dobinski's activities before May 15, 2013 and did not report them to the court."
The defendants Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon, Anthony Villavaso and Arthur Kaufman requested a hearing on their motion to disqualify Bernstein on December 11, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Judge Engelhardt has yet to rule on their request.