Posted: Jan 17, 2011 10:06 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Jan 17, 2011 10:06 PM
BATON ROUGE - One of the FBI agents involved in "Operation Blighted Officials," that led to the indictment of six area public officials, has been convicted of federal crimes.
The agent, Darin Lee McAllister, committed wire and bankruptcy fraud in a personal matter in Tennessee.
The investigation here focused on the mayors of New Roads, Port Allen, White Castle and St. Gabriel, along with the police chiefs of White Castle and Port Allen, that were later indicted for taking bribes to set up a "garbage can cleaning" process, Cifer 5000, in their towns. A former Port Allen councilman pleaded guilty in the case.
The product was an undercover sting by the FBI.
Last week, the US Attorney's Office said it was pulling the agent from its witness list for upcoming trials and lawyers for some of the politicians under indictment say this is a blow to the case, in their favor.
Defense Attorney for New Roads Mayor Tommy Nelson, Page Pate said, "There are things that he said, things that he did that, I believe, perhaps are inappropriate, perhaps will support a defense in our case and the fact that he's now been convicted on criminal charges may very well give us some additional ammo."
"They can't call him, they're gonna have to rely on their only witness who is going to be this private citizen that they hired, who was doing the meetings with our clients," said White Castle Police Chief Mario Brown's defense lawyer John McLindon.
The attorneys say they will try to get the agent on the stand. The first trial, for the Brown brothers, is next month.