Former-St. Tammany Parish District Attorney, Walter Reed, federal corruption trial begins today at a US courthouse in New Orleans today. Reed faces 19 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, and fraud. Legal analyst Tim Meche says Reed could spend a lot of time behind bars if convicted.
“He’d be looking at 10 years under the sentencing guidelines, that’d be my prediction,” Meche said.
Reed allegedly spent over $100,000 from his campaign fund for non-campaign related purchases. Meche says it’s an interesting case, because federal prosecutors are seeking to convict the former district attorney on what amounts to state ethic violations.
“It was a bold move by the US Attorney to turn these state campaign ethics violations into a federal crime,” Meche said.
Meche says the whole country will be watching, because it could have implications for other state elected officials. He says it could start a trend of prosecuting state offenses at the federal level.
“If they’re able to turn state ethics campaign fund violations into federal crime, we’re going to start a whole trend in this country,” Meche said.
Reed became not-so-affectionately known as “St. Slammany” for his aggressive pursuit of criminals and harsh sentences for the over 30 years he spent as St. Tammany DA. Reed’s son Steven is also facing similar charges for his role in the conspiracy.