NEXT CHAPTER Former prosecutor, aka “Henry L. Mencken1951,” speaks out

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Sal Perricone’s Statement to the Citizens

There comes a time in everyone’s life when one should examine who they are, and not allow others to define them. This experience has taught me great lessons in humility, justice, ethics and accuracy in the media’s reporting.

I mishandled my stress and anger level by internalizing things and then, in an attempt to assuage my stress, sought relief on Poor choice. Dumb choice. If you read some of the comments left there by others, you’ll understand my point.

Consequently, I have paid a severe penalty. It took 40 years to build my reputation. Now, it’s damaged. I was told that New Orleans isn’t a forgiving place, but I want to challenge that thesis.

Therefore, I am sincerely sorry if I insulted anyone. While I feel I had a First Amendment right to post comments anonymously on, a right doesn’t always translate into something you should do. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean you should do it.

I want my experience to serve as an example to others who find themselves in high-stress jobs.

Balance your life. Seek outside interests. Hug your kids as much as you can. And, never let your job become your raison d’être.

There are four things everyone should keep in balance: their spiritual life, their intellectual life, their emotional life and their physical life. In my life, all four were out of balance and I’m paying for it now.

To the taxpayers of the Eastern District of Louisiana, our true bosses, I want to assure you that your U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) is comprised of the hardest working and most dedicated public servants anywhere. They truly put your interest first. Every attorney and support staff member is dedicated to making this region a better place to live, conduct business and to raise a family. Over the past years, the USAO has made significant incursions into public corruption. But there’s more work to be done. This isn’t the time to relax that effort. We must stay vigilant.

Finally, I hope you forgive me for seeking a poor way of dealing with my stress. While I didn’t steal any money, kill anyone or molest any child, I did make poor choices. I was aware there was help for my condition, but I was too proud to seek it. I want to thank you for allowing me to serve you as an Assistant United States Attorney for the past 21 years and nearly 6 years as an FBI agent. I hope I contributed somehow in making Louisiana a better place for you and your family to live.

Thank you,
Sal Perricone

“‘Mencken’ was an intellectual outlet. I had the safe redoubt of my anonymity.
I glance at those comments now and I can’t believe I did this.”


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Reader Comments:
Aug 3, 2012 12:57 pm
 Posted by  nolaatheart

While I am not a full time nor native New Orleanean, I understand how easily your job can frustrate you and make you do things you regret. I believe everyone deserves a chance to set things right. We have forgiven public figures for much worse. Good luck with your future endeavors.

Aug 3, 2012 09:36 pm
 Posted by  chelseagirl

Really. He attacks the judges, he attacks co-workers, he attacks anyone and everyone not a part of his little clique, and now says, ooops? Mean is mean, and that is what he was - for too many years, and with no one bothering to rein him in.
This article only served to allow Mr. Perricone the opportunity to just further assuage his own ego.

Aug 4, 2012 02:11 am
 Posted by  NOLALADYJ

I would hire him. I can understand the wish to comment as just another citizen and not always in his role as a prosecutor. People can separate their feelings from their job requirements, and do separate them often. Again, I would hire him for an important legal matter. He made a mistake by speaking out, but it's not a moral transgression and I don't think he saw it as harming anyone directly.

Aug 8, 2012 04:58 pm
 Posted by  karen120

Everyone makes mistakes. Quoting "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone". Who has not made some mistake they are truly sorry for. I am surely not going to judge anyone. I have been there and it hurts! I try to treat others the way I wish to be treated. If you want to be judged harshly, then all by all means, knock yourself out!

Aug 28, 2012 01:45 am
 Posted by  Floored

I cannot believe people would feel sorry for this "Boy Scout representative" of the public. Anyone else would have been thrown before a grand jury long before now. He was abusive to innocent people in his investigations. He made them "fear" their government. The truth was not the issue with him, it was the win, however the disgusting way he accomplished it. He had the money of the federal government behind him which is an endless pit. And guess what? He is Mencken in every way. Probably one of the dirtiest prosecutors to ever walk into a courtroom.

The judicial system of our forefathers has been abused by his tactics and it's about time he was caught. He couldn't resist defaming anyone who didn't walk in his path. It's good that he's gone.

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