NEW ORLEANS - The consequences of a federal judge's decision to order a new trial in the Danziger police shootings case are potentially far-reaching.
There are now questions as to whether the same "prosecutorial misconduct" taints the corruption case against former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
Nagin was a frequent target of at least one of the federal prosecutors involved in posting improper online comments about the Danziger case.
Judge Kurt Engelhardt called the commenting "highly unusual, extensive and truly bizarre," and threw out the convictions of five former NOPD officers.
Legal observers now wonder if the extra-judicial posting will have any effect on Nagin's upcoming trial.
"Those rogue prosecutors that caused this scab, this sore, this crime against the community because of their actions, their bad actions, those bad actions are going to continue to effect us. you know, how do we prosecute Nagin now, said Louisiana Institute of Justice President and CEO Tracie Washington. "These are the same prosecutors."
In June 2009, former prosecutor Sal Perricone made this post under the name campstblue: "For all of you who have a penchant for firearms and how they work, Ray Nagin lives on Park Island." Nagin responded on Twitter saying: "News tonight showed top prosecutor in U.S. Attorney's office blogged my home address and for someone with guns to assassinate me."
The former mayor has since moved to the Dallas area.
In May 2009, campstblue wrote; "...the Nagin administration has exceeded the Marc Morial administration in denying the citizens of New Orleans of their right to honest government, for profit." "This could go back to cases that involve any high profile case in which there was someone blogging pre-resolution, I think it now opens the door," said WWL-TV Legal Analyst Jason Williams. "This sets a precedent."
But, others see the Nagin case proceeding on schedule because it doesn't appear to have the same level of prosecutorial misconduct.
"I think the reason that there's a new trial in the Danziger case is because is now evidence that someone inside the Justice Department at a very high level was commenting during the trial and none of this was disclosed to the judge," said WWL-TV Political Analyst Clancy DuBos.
Nagin's trial is now expected to begin October 28.
Calls to Nagin's attorney Robert Jenkins were not returned.