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CRF Blog » Blog Archive » His own words help bring down New Orleans prosecutor

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His own words help bring down New Orleans prosecutor

by Bill Hayes

In His own words help bring down New Orleans prosecutor, the Los Angeles Times reports on a strange case of prosecutorial misconduct.

Sal Perricone always had something to prove. Growing up poor and Italian in a city dominated by Creoles and Anglos, Perricone found respect on the streets after high school by becoming a cop. He pulled graveyard shifts to put himself through college and eventually took night classes to earn a law degree while serving as a New Orleans police detective.

The law degree helped him jump to the FBI, where he was a special agent for five years. In 1991 he landed at the U.S. attorney’s office in New Orleans, crusading against fraud in a city as known for political corruption as it is for jazz. Over two decades, he went after the Mafia, cops, judges and even a former governor. He became one of New Orleans’ most feared prosecutors.

The people he put behind bars — the thugs, the high-power politicians — were intent on seeing Perricone fall. His enemies left a fake bomb and other death threats on his front porch. They never touched him. Instead, it was his own arrogance and a burning secret resentment toward the world of privilege and power that brought him down.

His prosecutorial misconduct was exposed by a pretentious writing style, particularly his fondness for obscure words found usually only on SAT exams or in the work of Victorian poet Robert Browning. [more]