NEW ORLEANS -- Stacey Jackson, awaiting trial on bribery, theft, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to a house-gutting program she ran for former Mayor Ray Nagin, is the latest federal defendant hoping to make hay over online postings by former federal prosecutors.
Now that a federal judge has granted a new trial for the Danziger Bridge defendants because of online postings, calling them “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct,” Nagin has tried to contend that his trial, set for Oct. 28, should be delayed.
Friday, Jackson’s attorney, Eddie Castaing, filed a request to compel the government turn over other online posts, as well as the findings of outside Justice Department investigator John Horn. Jackson’s trial is scheduled to begin in January.
Castaing focused on the online commentary of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone under a Nola.com story in 2008 about the grand jury probe into the program Jackson ran, New Orleans Affordable Homeownership. Perricone posted a screed under the pseudonym “campstblue” that Castaing calls a “racial attack against Ms. Jackson.”
While the comments are undoubtedly “racial,” they appear to be directed at Nagin, referencing his infamous “Chocolate City” speech, mocking his use of the word “man” at the end of sentences and mimicking his complaint that WWL-TV was not “helping the recovery” by questioning spending in the NOAH program.
The filing goes on to cite additional racist postings by Perricone, both under the names “campstblue” and “legacyusa.” Most of them target Nagin, and one calls his “entire 8 years … one corrupt morass.” Castaing contends that Jackson was “the object and victim of these blogs and racial attacks,” even though none of them mention her and only one of them seemed to relate specifically to the program she ran.
Castaing declined to comment further.