We have a Jamie Perdigao update. Before we link a large pdf of his detailed complaint to the Metropolitan Crime Comission we’ll step back a few days to a Times Picayune story I missed while traveling.
In a status conference held Friday, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon, who had been weighing Perdigao’s request for an evidentiary hearing on his claims, ruled that no hearing was necessary. Fallon also denied the request to recuse Letten’s office at the status conference.
Fallon has yet to issue a written ruling, although he intends to, according to a minute entry in the court file.
Perdigao’s attorney, Bill Wessel, said he has not decided what his next step will be.
Letten declined to comment on Fallon’s ruling.
The question of whether to hold a hearing had been vigorously opposed by Letten’s office, which presented a document showing that the office had already recused itself from certain parts of the case. Perdigao’s allegations regarding the Edwards case were referred to the Justice Department’s public integrity section, the document indicates.
The problem, Letten’s office said in a recent motion, was that Perdigao’s tips were “hearsay malice” unsupported by any evidence.
Mr Perdigao evidently thinks he has “evidence” beyond the “hearsay malice” variety, at least as it concerns misconduct on part of Traffic Court Judge Ronald Sholes:
We recently filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of James Perdigao (Civ. Action No. 083570, U.S.D.C.-E.D.La) in which Mr. Perdigao alleges, inter alia, certain wrongful and improper “fixing” oftraffic tickets by Hon. Ronald Sholes, Section D of New Orleans Traffic Court. On behalf of Mr. Perdigao, this letter is to request that your office investigate this matter and take appropriate action.
We are enclosing documentation of several traffic tickets which we believe were improperly handled by Judge Sholes while he was serving as a part-time traffic court judge and also as a lawyer for the firm of Adams and Reese. Additional information and documentation is available upon request.
We should also note that this information was turned over by Mr. Perdigao to the U.S. Attorney’s office approximately three years ago, but the U.S. Attorney’s office took no action, despite the fact that Mickey Torregano, the former secretary for Section D and the recipient of many of the enclosed fax transmissions, had recently been convicted in connection with the U.S. Attorney office’s investigation into corruption at New Orleans Traffic Court. In addition, U.S. Attorney Letten apparently stated in a press conference that the federal investigation of traffic court had not implicated any judges.
Furthermore, as detailed in Mr. Perdigao’s federal lawsuit, management of Adams and Reese repeatedly took the position that there was no evidence of affirmative misconduct on the part of Judge Sholes throughout the investigations of New Orleans Traffic Court even though the management of Adams and Reese were well aware of Mr. Sholes’ conduct. We believe that these documents as well as a number of others in our possession confirm that Adams and Reese management was aware of Judge Sholes’ conduct.
Here is a very large pdf of the complaint Mr Perdigao’s lawyer Robert Matthews sent to the Metropolitan Crime Comission (minus the copies of the tickets which contained personal info we don’t feel comfortable posting). Now we wait and see what Rafael Goyeneche does with it.