Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thoughts, Background on Anthony Jones, Lon Burns

Dambala has a post up questioning Anthony Jones' rationale for holding a press conference today to discuss his appearance before a federal grand jury and the allegations swirling around him.

I think the reason for the appearance is to create just enough space for himself so that he can keep his job and salary at City Hall so that he can pay for the legal representation of Lionel "Lon" Burns.


I've heard Burns does not have a whole lot of white collar criminal defense experience. Also recall that he was forced to resign from Harry Connick's office back in the day after he was caught planting evidence. See this, this, and this:

In January 2001, the state appeals court held that George Lee III's charges for sexual battery and kidnapping could not stand because New Orleans prosecutor Lionel Burns withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense and jury. In his appeal to the Supreme Court, Lee also alleged that Burns planted inculpatory evidence.

During Lee's October 2000 trial, Judge Arthur Hunter declared a mistrial and held Burns in contempt of the court after he asked a testifying officer to pull a wad of napkins out of the pants Lee was supposedly wearing during the assault. The state's evidence showed that Lee would use napkins to clean himself after an assault; finding napkins in Lee's pants helped the prosecution's case. Yet Burns had not disclosed the napkins' existence to the defense. Hunter sentenced Burns to six months in prison for contempt, which was reduced to a $500 fine on appeal.


Anonymous said...

Uh, how about they held the press conference to ramp up the heat on the mayor's critics by suggesting *they had started this whole thing to stear money towards *their contributors and friends?

In case you haven't noticed, this whole effort's getting pretty coordinated. Riley jumped into the fray last week and now you can be sure that Jones will be throwing gas on the fire (or trying to) by suggesting this all just one big political Valentine's Day Massacre.

Clay said...

Looks like Jones is threatening to take the whole ship down, to continue your nautical references:

Where do you keep getting all this pre-Katrina background info on minor players? I'm impressed with the Lon Burns links.

jeffrey said...

Me too. Although I suspect the google.

Dambala said...

there is but one god, google and the wiki is it's prophet

Anonymous said...

A side note on Burns in that evidence planting scandal (aka Napkingate): his co-prosecutor on the case was Keva Landrum, yes the future DA.

More on Napkingate: >Lee's case was a soap opera that had three false starts before his final trial, when a jury found him guilty. One of the mistrials came after Burns stunned Hunter, the jury and Lee's defense attorney Robert Jenkins when he asked a cop on the stand to reach into a pair of Lee's uniform pants seized from his home in 1999. On cue, the officer pulled out a wad of paper napkins from the back pocket.

"Wow, I guess Officer Lee really likes napkins," Burns said.<

(From the 7/5/08 TP.) Bright move.

Now in his defense the Supreme Court did overturn much of the misconduct ruling (except for a $500 fine) and people may forget that in the tussle Judge Hunter tried to put an end to Burns' career; and in return Burns ended up trying to unseat Hunter as judge (and indeed Burns started another tussle by revealing that Hunter had racked up thousands of dollars in court compensation by commuting from Baton Rouge). he lost 72-28%. but, he still has his campaign site up:

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