Ex-Gov. Edwards may go on speaking tour

Jan. 13, 2011 at 7:19 PM
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BATON ROUGE, La., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, released from prison Thursday after serving eight years for bribery and fraud, could go on a book tour, a friend said.

Edwards, 83, a colorful and powerful figure in Louisiana politics, will probably write a book and go on a speaking tour, former state Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown told WDSU-TV, New Orleans.

"He is certainly a fascinating character," said Brown, who served a six-month prison sentence for his involvement in the Edwards case. "Whether you love him or hate him, everyone wants to know about him, and he is the most charismatic character in the history of Louisiana, even surpassing Huey Long," Louisiana's governor from 1928-1932 and a U.S. senator from 1932-1935.

Brown wrote a book in 2004 titled "Justice Denied: How the Federal Justice System Failed Former Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown," seeking to refute the charges of which he was convicted and rehabilitate his reputation.

Edwards had no immediate comment on Brown's thoughts.

He went to a Baton Rouge halfway house known as Ecumenical House Thursday after being released from the federal detention center in Oakdale.

By this weekend he will likely be released to home confinement during his six-month probation period to live with relatives, Ecumenical House Director Darla O'Connor told the TV station.

WAFB-TV, Baton Rouge, reported that when Edwards was walking into the halfway house he was asked how it felt to be free.

"I don't know yet," he responded.

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