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Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

Federal Prosecutor Removed from Cases for Anonymous Online Comments

March 16, 2012
A federal prosecutor in New Orleans probably won't be working on cases involving a landfill probe after acknowledging he made anonymous online comments about the owner of the property. The prosecutor, Sal Perricone, admitted making hundreds of posts at NOLA.com using the name Henry L. Mencken1951, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Associated Press and WWLTV.com. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announced that Perricone has been removed from all matters on which he commented at the website, which publishes stories by the Times-Picayune. He has referred the matter to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility. Letten would not specify which cases are off limits for Perricone, who also used the handle to criticize federal judges, political figures and his boss. Perricone told Letten he was the author after the landfill owner hired a forensic linguistics expert to examine nearly 600 comments made by Mencken1951. The expert found striking similarities between the online comments and a brief written by Perricone.