Perricone commenting now an issue in the NOPD consent decree

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The Police Association of New Orleans (PANO) today filed a motion in the ongoing New Orleans Police Department consent decree lawsuit accusing the United States Attorney's Office of misrepresentation and asking Judge Susie Morgan to reverse her late August ruling denying the officers' group the right to intervene as a party to the decree.

PANO charges that former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone, who was part of the U.S. Department of Justice's consent decree negotiations team, posted comments on nola.com "clearly and publically display[ing] that he had no faith or respect for the defendants, the NOPD or their present leadership."

The filing points to comments Perricone posted under the user names "Henry L. Mencken1951" and "legacyusa."

For example, this "Mencken" comment:

"The NOPD will never change if left to its own devices. It’s a corrupt culture which has existed for years. I am opposed to the Federal government residing in our lives, but this is one time I can make an exception.”

(More after the jump)

From today's court filing:


Many of these comments contained false, misleading and inflammatory language. Many of these comments were directed at the defendants’ [sic], which not only criticized and demeaned the leadership of the City and the NOPD, but also questioned the integrity and trustworthiness of the defendant’s [sic]. Some of these comments also severely, unprofessionally and in a prejudicial manner, criticized the federal judiciary system which would eventually adjudicate the Consent Decree.

That Perricone's antics have been introduced into the consent decree isn't really a surprise. (See Mitch Landrieu and Stephanie Grace.) But PANO's timing is.

PANO claims that since Morgan's August 31 ruling on its original motion to intervene, "new and additional information that has been discovered regarding the admitted misconduct of a high ranking member of the United States Attorney’s Office." Perricone admitted to posting as "Mencken" last March. The "new" information, PANO says, is that he also posted as "legacyusa." But of course, Perricone confirmed that one in the August issue of New Orleans Magazine, weeks before Morgan's ruling or oral arguments on motions to intervene.

PANO notes, however, that this non-new "new" information isn't the only problem:

In addition to the above, an ongoing investigation is currently in action, seeking to determine the extent and effect of the admitted acts of misconduct in other federal investigations. It is conceivable that this investigation will reveal additional unethical acts or misconduct committed by Perricone and/or others in this matter.

Read PANO's argument: PANOMemo.pdf

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