NEW ORLEANS -- When the verdicts were announced, it was breaking news across the region, and the reactions were quick and heartfelt.
'Really! I can't believe it! Really!'
That was one man's instant reaction.
'Oh my goodness!' said another.
'I feel sorry for him,' was the response of a third. 'That is the only thing that goes through my mind right now. I know he's got a family to take care of, but I feel sorry for him.'
'Wow,' was the stunned response from Jennifer. 'Unbelievable.'
As the verdicts were announced just after noon, customers at Serio's restaurant were able to watch the news as it happened.
'I think it was kind of in a way expected, but when you see it, it's still shocking,' said Donna Guerra.
'It's just sad, I just feel sad that people take the public trust and twist it to their own advantage,' added Rod Hundley.
'I wasn't in the jury room obviously, but from everything that I've read in the paper and watched on TV, I think it was the correct verdict,' said Steve Guerra.
But many of those that we talked to say there is a lesson from these verdicts, a lesson for the rest of the country, and for Louisiana politicians.
'And I hope he makes everybody else think twice before they cross the line.'
'You had the same thing happen in Detroit, the same thing just happened in New Jersey, in Trenton, so I mean, I think it sends a message to public officials as to how they should conduct themselves,' said Hundley.
'When are these politicians going to learn that it's not a license to steal?' Mike Serio said.