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

(page 2 of 2)

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 nola.com. 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 nola.com, 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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