Edwards: End supervised release early
NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s flamboyant former Gov. Edwin Edwards says he’s done his time, paid $2 million in fines and forfeitures and done everything required for his supervised release, and wants the supervision to end now.
Federal prosecutors support the five-sentence request to erase the second half of Edwards’ three-year supervised release for his 2000 conviction in a riverboat casino licensing scandal.
He spent eight years in federal prison and six months in home detention, reporting regularly to a halfway house, before beginning the supervised release in July 2011.
Edwards “promptly” paid $250,000 in fines and $1.8 million in restitution, and his history indicates that he is “absolutely no risk to public safety,” said a memorandum of support which Edwards proposed when he filed his request Jan. 10.
The federal response filed Friday was more restrained. That document, signed by Fred P. Harper Jr., first assistant U.S. attorney in New Orleans, said Edwards has served more than 18 months and the government believes that ending supervised release early is in the best interest of justice.
Edwards and his third wife, Trina Scott Edwards, 34, are scheduled to begin a reality television series next month.
Although his 2000 felony conviction in a scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses cost Edwards his law license, he filed the motion himself in federal district court in Baton Rouge.
Edwards “has been a law-abiding citizen since discovery of his offenses in 1997. He is now 86 years old,” Edwards wrote in his proposed response.
Although Edwards says he’s 86, records show his date of birth as Aug. 7, 1927.
He also quoted the assistant director of the federal probation office as saying that removing low-risk offenders from the caseload lets officers concentrate on those posing a higher risk.
Although New Orleans prosecutors handled the case, they transferred it in late 1997 to a special federal grand jury in Baton Rouge. It indicted Edwards and six co-defendants. A state senator and a member of the state gambling board were acquitted. The others, including Edwards’ son, were convicted and ordered to forfeit a total of more than $2.5 million.
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY