U.S. Att'y Jim Letten, FBI Smell Something Fishy in New Orleans City Hall

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten today announced an investigation in New Orleans City Hall, this time into the city’s ill-fated foray into anti-crime surveillance cameras. And, yes, this investigation will reach into Democratic Mayor Ray Nagin’s office.

U.S. Attorney’s office confirms federal investigation into City Hall

Letten’s success in bringing charges against corrupt New Orleans-area Democrats has been previously chronicled in these pages, here,here, here, here, and here.

Letten, a Republican Bush appointee who has already served eight years, has received the support of both Sen. David Vitter (R) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) to retain his post. His reappointment, however, is up to President Obama. Let’s see how much of this Hope and Change business is about Good Government and how much is about good old Chicago-style gutter politics.

Last Friday, FBI agents, along with investigators with the New Orleans inspector general’s office, “carried out court-ordered searches and seizures of stored computer information at City Hall,” the statement said.

The federal investigation into the crime camera contracts — as well as the presence of federal agents at City Hall in recent days — were previously reported by The Times-Picayune. But the two-paragraph statement by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and FBI Special Agent in Charge David Welker confirms the federal probe. …

Two people involved in the crime camera contract, vendor Mark St. Pierre and former technology chief Anthony Jones, have publicly stated they were summoned to appear before a grand jury.

A search warrant from a judge requires federal agents to have a higher level of proof — probable cause that some crime was committed — than a subpoena from a grand jury. The materials that are seized must be within the scope of the search warrant.

Oh, and as a parting shot there’s this:

$200,000 missing form New Orleans Police evidence room