NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Jim Letten has fired back at Aaron Broussard with a strongly worded response to the embattled former Jefferson Parish president’s request that the U.S. Attorney’s office be removed from his criminal case.
The 21-page response contends that arguments for recusal by Broussard and his co-defendant, former Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson, are not supported by any evidence.
Broussard and Wilkinson filed a motion in May saying that Letten’s office should step away from the case because of comments that former prosecutor Sal Perricone posted online. In particular, Perricone posted inflammatory comments on a newspaper website about the investigation of the River Birch landfill, a case in which Perricone was personally involved.
But Letten’s office responded that Perricone was not involved in the Broussard case and that the cases are completely separate.
“Beyond their broad and unsupportable statements that there is ‘substantial overlap’ between this matter (Broussard) and those unrelated matters (River Birch), the defendants fail to demonstrate how those unrelated probes would affect this case at all,” states the U.S. Attorney’s response. "Simply put, those matters involve other individuals; they involved separate charges than this matter; and those matters have no factual bearing on the payroll fraud scheme charged here.”
Broussard and Wilkinson each face multiple counts of fraud related to the employment of Broussard’s then-wife, Karen Parker Broussard, at a job and salary for which she was unqualified.
Broussard and former Jefferson Parish Chief Administrative Officer Tim Whitmer have pleaded guilty and they are cooperating with authorities.