Jim Letten is a difference maker in our community

News with a Twist: News with a View

I guess you can't win 'em all.   Maybe that's what's being said at U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office up on the 8th floor of the federal building on Poydras street.  It isn't often that someone Letten is going after gets away.  Even if it's just temporarily.

The Renee Gill Pratt racketeering case ended in a mistrial.  Meaning, this one goes down as a tie with a rematch ensured, at a date unknown.   So Letten's office will get another go at it in a few months. 

And success is all but ensured.  If you doubt me, just look at this guy's amazing track record. 

Before he was appointed the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, he was that offices' lead prosecutor in their successful cases against former Governor Edwin Edwards and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and State Legislator David Duke.  Both went to jail.  Both banned from running for public office for 15 years.  He would have bagged former State Senator Cleo Fields, too, if Eddie Jordan hadn't gotten in the way. 

After those early successes, Letten took full control of the office.  And the country club jails started filling up quickly. 

Letten's office has successfully prosecuted dozens of public officials in the greater New Orleans area.  From Mose, Betty and Brenda Jefferson, to St. John the Baptist Parish President Bill Hubbard.  Mandeville Mayor Eddie Price went down quickly.   As did former New Orleans City Council President - and the then early favorite to become the city's next mayor - Oliver Thomas.

Former Judges Bodenheimer, Green and Cresap were all found guilty.   As was former Gretna City Councilman Jonathan Bolar and former State Senator Derrick Shepard.  Airport consessionair and parking lot expert Stan "Pampy" Barre went down.  So did Louis Marcotte, the then bail bond king of Jefferson Parish. 

Can't forget about Benjamin Edwards and O. C. Coleman of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board.  Those guys claimed to be preachers.  That didn't stop Letten's office from putting them where they belong ... in jail. 

With an aggressive pursuit of corrupt public officials, coupled with a reported 97% conviction rate, U.S. Attorney Jim letten's office might just be the single most successful and important entity in the city.  And something we can all be proud of.

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