"Mencken" defamation suit now in federal court



Former federal prosecutor Sal Perricone yesterday removed a defamation suit — filed against him by River Birch landfill owner Fred Heebe in Orleans Parish Civil District Court two months ago — to U.S. District Court.

Heebe's lawsuit stems from comments Perricone posted to Nola.com stories under several aliases including "Henry L. Mencken1951." Those comments were posted while Perricone was an acting prosecutor involved in the investigation and eventual prosecution of River Birch executive Dominic Fazzio. (That case is unrelated to River Birch, at least for the moment.) According to Heebe's lawsuit, Perricone made false statements indicating that Heebe is guilty of crimes — including payouts to public officials and local press — for which he has not been convicted, or even charged.

Perricone has moved to take the case federal, according to court filings, because the allegations involved his actions while an acting U.S. government official. (If this feels familiar, there's good reason.)

Read the original lawsuit: HeebeComplaint.pdf

Read Perricone's removal notice: Removal.pdf

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