Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann has been demoted from her post as First Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division, according to a Thursday morning press release from U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
The fairly brief and carefully worded release says Mann did in fact post comments on NOLA.com, presumably in stories related to Fred Heebe, who accused Mann of defamation in a suit last week.
Heebe alleged Mann used NOLA.com (as did former federal prosecutor Sal Perricone) to make comments about subjects under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Mann's removal is the office's second high-profile departure following the online comment controversy — Perricone resigned in March.
Here's the release:
Immediately upon learning of the allegations contained in [Fred Heebe]’s lawsuit, I notified and maintained close contact with the appropriate U.S. Department of Justice officials in Washington, D.C. in order to determine the appropriate course of action. In accordance with well-established protocol, the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility was notified.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mann used NOLA.com to post comments. As of Monday night, November 5, 2012, AUSA Jan Maselli Mann is no longer serving in the supervisory positions of First Assistant United States Attorney or Chief of the Criminal Division.
Because this matter is now under review by the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., the release of any additional information by my office would not be appropriate.