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NEW ORLEANS Former Jefferson Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson has been charged in a new felony bill of information, indicating that he may now be cooperating with federal prosecutors in the probe into Jefferson Parish corruption, involving former Parish President Aaron Broussard.
In the newest one-count superseding bill of information, Wilkinson is charged with conspiracy to commit misprision of a felony, or knowing about federal crimes but not reporting them. Wilkinsonwaspreviously facing 22 counts.
Prosecutors say the crimes involve the alleged payroll fraud case which resulted in the earlier indictments against Broussard and Wilkinson, for their handling of the paralegal supervisor position previously held by Karen Parker, Broussard's ex-wife.
Prosecutors say Parker had the job title of paralegal supervisor and collected more than $323,000 in taxpayer funds over six years, though she wasn't qualified for the position and wasn't performing its duties. They also charge that Broussard asked Wilkinson to hire his then-fiance in exchange for lucrative pay raises.
Both Broussard and Wilkinson have to date strongly denied the allegations and others involving possible contractor fraud and self-dealing charges.The previous indictment charged them with conspiracy, wire fraud, theft and bribery.
The pair were set to stand trial Nov. 5, but a bill of information filed by prosecutorsis often a sign that defendants may change their plea, and in turn cooperate with a federal investigation.
Parker has already pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate.Also pleading guilty is former parish chief administrative officer Tim Whitmer.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Texas judge presiding over the case ordered thatParker's sentencing be continued from November to February 2013.Federal prosecutors urged the continuance stating that Parker is expected to be a witness at the trial for Broussard and Wilkinson.
The judge also signed an order officially changing the trial date in the case. It was recently moved from October 1 to November 5.
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