NEW ORLEANS -- Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone, who resigned in disgrace after being exposed as a prolific Internet blogger whose disparaging comments included cases he was prosecuting, resurfaced in court documents filed Thursday.
Perricone submitted an affidavit as part of the government’s response to a motion by River Birch landfill CFO Dominick Fazzio to dismiss embezzlement charges against him.
In his affidavit filed from Tacoma, Wash., Perricone swears that Fazzio’s alleged co-conspirator, Mark Titus, never had a secret side deal with prosecutors to forgo seizing nearly $1 million as part of Titus’ guilty plea.
Perricone, who has largely stayed out of the public eye since he admitted writing more than 600 web comments under the alias “Henry L. Mencken 1961,” stated that he participated in Titus’ plea negotiations and there was never any talk about forgoing forfeiture.
“There were no side agreements,” Perricone wrote in his affidavit.
“The case against Mark Titus, as I believe then and now, is ripe for full restitution to the victim,” he continued. “Therefore, I don’t recall any member of (the prosecution team) – including me – having any motive to agree with Titus.”
The prosecution of Fazzio and Titus is part of a larger federal investigation into River Birch landfill, although the embezzlement charges stem from an unrelated business deal. The case has taken several unforeseen turns, including Perricone’s resignation, which forced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten to recuse his office from the River Birch case.
To complicate matters even more, Titus is trying to back out of this plea deal, while Fazzio is trying to get his charges thrown out by arguing prosecutorial misconduct.
In the government’s motion to keep Fazzio on track for trial later this month, prosecutors point out that Titus – in his signed plea agreement – acknowledges that he could be subject to forfeiture.
Perricone, meanwhile, remains under investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility.