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Fed Prosecutor Used Alias to Bash People — Including Fed Judges — in Comments Section of New Orleans Paper

By Times-Picayune Staff

NEW ORLEANS — In a rare black eye for his office, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten confirmed Thursday that Sal Perricone, one of his top prosecutors, has been using the alias “Henry L. Mencken1951” to bash landfill owner Fred Heebe and a raft of other local and national figures, including federal judges, in the comments section on nola.com.

Perricone “readily acknowledged” using the pseudonym, and the matter has been referred to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which will mete out any punishment following an investigation, Letten said.

Perricone — whom Letten called a “fine veteran attorney” — has been recused from all matters that he discussed in comments on nola.com, Letten said. He declined to confirm which cases that would include, citing the office’s policy to not discuss ongoing investigations.

“My overriding concern is dealing with this crisis, this issue, properly, dealing with it honestly and trying to get that message out there to the public to keep the trust people have placed in us,” Letten said.

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