U.S. prosecutor resigns over Web postings

March 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, March 21 (UPI) -- A federal prosecutor in New Orleans has resigned amid an investigation into his use of an online alias to post inflammatory comments on a Web site.

Sal Perricone resigned from his post as an assistant U.S. attorney Tuesday, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility will continue investigating and Perricone's departure does not eliminate the possibility of further action against him.

"Our partners in government and law enforcement and the citizens we serve must know that absolutely none of the comments, criticisms, or characterizations made [by Perricone] were in any way reflective of my views or opinions -- or those of the department or this office or our people," Letten said in a statement. "To the contrary, we resoundingly reject the caustic criticisms and sentiments expressed in these messages."

Perricone, 60, admitted last week to using the online alias "Henry L. Mencken1951" to post about 600 comments at NOLA.com, the Web site affiliated with The Times-Picayune, in the past six months.

Some of the postings criticized federal judges, and local and national politicians, including some being investigated by the U.S. attorney's office.

The newspaper said evidence suggests Perricone had also used at least three other aliases to comment on NOLA.com.

In a brief telephone interview with the newspaper, he refused to say whether he had commented under those names.

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