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 Senator Publicly Opposes Pardon for Edwin Edwards

2 years ago

Senator Publicly Opposes Pardon for Edwin Edwards

Former Governor Edwin Edwards making news again, this time over his bid for a presidential pardon.

In 2003, Edwards' then wife Candy petitioned for a pardon for her husband. Now Edwards third wife, Trina Scott Edwards, is doing the same.

"I would really hope that more people would stand behind him, he did a lot a for the state," said Trina.

But both times around, Senator David Vitter publicly opposed them and idea of a pardon.

"It's not in his nature to be kind to people, they don't call him bitter Vitter for nothing," retorted Edwin Edwards.

Trina said she received a letter from Vitter's office, saying he thinks a Presidential Pardon would be inappropriate. This is the letter Trina posted on her Facebook page:

"Dear Mrs. Edwards,

Thank you for contacting me in support of a presidential pardon for former Governor Edwin Edwards. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you know, the President of the United States has Constitutional authority to grant pardons at his sole discretion to anyone except those convicted of impeachment. Nothing in the Constitution grants Congress or the courts authority to overturn presidential pardons.

In his last days in office, President Bush did not issue a large number of pardons, including denying Governor Edwards' application for one. Also, President Obama has not indicated a position on pardoning Gov. Edwards. I do not think a pardon for Gov. Edwards is appropriate given his convictions related to official duties.

While we may disagree on this issue, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about other issues important to you. "

Apparently Trina wasn't the only person to receive that letter, several people on the Ask Obama to Pardon Edwin Edwards Facebook page wrote they also got it, and they weren't to happy either.

But Trina said she never wrote Vitter directly, and believes Vitter got her, and other email addresses, from a petition they signed.

"It takes a lot to make me angry and I'm livid about it I really am," said Trina.

Both Trina and Edwards said they believe Vitter should be more understanding, loosely referencing Vitter's 2007 prostitution scandal.

"The Obama administration would not pay anymore attention to him than they would to one of my grandchildren because he's in total disrepute and has been designated as one of the most corrupt senators in the United States Senate," said Edwards.

Trina said, "I think he's sanctimonious and he's a hypocrite and he's a whoremonger and I think it's funny that he's so slow to forgive someone when he needed forgiveness himself one time and a lot of people gave it to him."

KATC tried contacting Senator Vitter several times Thursday and Friday, and did not receive a response by Friday night. KATC also reached out to other Louisiana legislators, no one commented on Edwards' bid for a pardon.

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2 years ago

Ex-Gov. Edwin Edwards defends his record

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Alternating his trademark humor with a
defiant defense of his record, former Gov. Edwin Edwards said he
was never accused of stealing from the taxpayers during his four
terms as head of Louisiana, adding that his corruption conviction
was based on false testimony from ex-friends.
"I was never investigated for stealing from the state," said a
hoarse, but fit-looking 83-year-old Edwards. It was his first news
conference since he was recently freed from nearly a decade of
federal detention.
The news conference preceded a private "roast" held by his
friends and supporters in advance of his Aug. 7 birthday. The
television satellite trucks, cameras and Edwards holding forth on a
variety of state and national issues, the news conference sometimes
had the feeling of a political event typical of any of the four
terms he served from 1972 through 1996.
Edwards spent eight years in federal prison for his role in a
bribery and extortion scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses
during his fourth term. In July, he completed six months of home
detention and regular reporting to a Baton Rouge halfway house. On
Friday, he married 32-year-old Trina Grimes Scott - his third
marriage - in a private ceremony.
As he had after his conviction in 2000, Edwards declared himself
a victim of an unfair federal judge in Baton Rouge, perjured
testimony by former friends who had sought casino licenses and an
overzealous federal government. Federal prosecutors have denied all
of those accusations.
Edwards was the dominant figure in Louisiana politics for most
of the late 20th century despite a series of scandals that resulted
in numerous investigations and four federal trials, one of which
resulted in conviction. He retired from politics in 1996, before it
became clear that he was again under investigation in the case that
would result in his imprisonment.
He gave no indication that he intends to re-enter politics -
noting the decline of the Democratic Party in the state and
declaring that he would die a Democrat. But he didn't hold back
from giving his opinion on a variety of matters, including
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's management of the state's budget,
Jindal's alleged interest in national office and his frequent
out-of-state fund-raising.
"I think he makes a good governor - for California, Minnesota,
Florida - all those places where people have been putting up money,
concerned about who the governor of Louisiana is," Edwards said.
He confirmed that there is a possibility he will take part in a
reality television show, although he wants to make sure it doesn't
put his family or state in a bad light.
"I've never seen a reality show," he said, adding that he has
heard that some result in unflattering images of their subjects.
"I'm not going to look bad. My wife is not going to look bad. My
family is not going to look bad and my state is not going to look
bad," Edwards said.
Edwards said his new wife, who sat nearby as he spoke, had
written to him after reading his authorized biography and becoming
convinced that she had the wrong idea about him. After visiting him
in prison, she asked if she could continue to see him. "I was 83
years old, in prison and broke," Edwards said. "That's like
throwing a life raft to someone who's drowning."
Asked about how things have changes while he was in prison,
Edwards said: "When I went away, people used phones to talk to
people," Edwards said.

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2 years ago

Newly freed, newly wed, Edwards to celebrate 84th

KATC'S Maddie Garrett is in New Orleans for Edwards, news conference, book signing and "roast" to celebrate his upcoming 84th birthday. We will have all the details tonight at 6pm and 10pm!

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Weeks after ending his federal detention, and a day after getting married for the third time, former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards continues his return to the public eye in New Orleans with a weekend news conference, book signing and "roast" to celebrate his upcoming 84th birthday.
Saturday's events take place at the Monteleone hotel in the French Quarter. That's where, on Friday, he married 32-year-old Trina Grimes Scott, who had befriended him when he was serving his federal prison sentence for a bribery and extortion scheme.
The "roast" marking his Aug. 7 birthday will be private but he's scheduled to talk to reporters in the afternoon and sign copies of his authorized biography from 9 p.m. until midnight.

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2 years ago

Edwin Edwards Ties the Knot for a Third Time

Less than a month after former Governor Edwin Edwards was released from house arrest following his incarceration in prison, he's once again a married man. Louisiana's longest serving governor tied the knot Friday morning with fiance Trina Grimes Scott. This is Edwards' third marriage, and the 32-year-old bride is over 50 years is junior. But as Edwards told reporters Friday, it was all for true love.

The newlyweds were all smiles Friday, as friends, family and even strangers congratulated the two as they walked through the streets of the French Quarter.

"It's a great event, something we've looked forward to for over a year and it finally happened and I'm almost beginning to realize that it did," said Edwards.

The ceremony was small, with a little over a dozen family members attending. Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Kitty Kimball officiated inside Hotel Monteleone.

"Everything about it was special, it was a great day, very excited," said Grimes Scott after the ceremony.

To many the romance seemed unusual, after all they did meet while Edwards was serving time in Federal prison. But what started out as letter-writing quickly grew into something more.

"For one solid year, every Saturday and every Sunday, on Christmas day on Thanksgiving day on New Years day, every time we had a visitors day she showed up at eight o'clock in the morning and stayed till three and I'll never forget that," Edwards said. "I'll never forget that, that really meant something to me."

Edwards admitted he didn't have much to offer Grimes Scott when they first started out, but he's glad she saw something in him.

"I think it's just because he was such a positive person and so sweet all the time, he's really an amazing person," said Grimes Scott.

And the celebrations will carry on into Saturday, when Edwards will attend a party for his 84th birthday at the Hotel Monteleone. Over 600 people are expected to attend, and KATC will be there to catch all the action.

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2 years ago

Third Time's a Charm for Edwin Edwards

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is married again.
The four-time ex-governor, who will be 84 next month, told a crowd in the lobby of the Monteleone Hotel that he married 32-year-old Trina Grimes Scott in a simple private ceremony Friday morning.
Grimes, clutching a bridal bouquet, stood next to Edwards who did most of the talking to reporters and admirers in the hotel lobby. (Photo from WGNO)
The bride befriended Edwards while he was serving a federal prison sentence for a bribery and extortion scheme.

2 years ago

Edwards' fiance confirms the big day

GONZALES, La. (AP) - Edwin Edwards is walking down the aisle for a third time this week.
Trina Grimes Scott, Edwards' fiance, confirmed Monday to The Associated Press that she and Louisiana's former governor will exchange wedding vows on Friday at an undisclosed location.
Scott says about 10 guests will witness the ceremony but she wouldn't say who would officiate the occasion. No media will be allowed.
Edwards served eight years in prison for a bribery and extortion scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses. Scott, who is 32, befriended the 83-year-old groom-to-be while he was in prison. The couple currently lives together in Gonzales.
The wedding, Edwards' third, is scheduled a day before a grand 84th birthday party for Edwards with hundreds of people in New Orleans' French Quarter.

3 years ago

Edwin Edwards to Marry This Week

GONZALES, La. (AP) - Edwin Edwards is walking down the aisle for a third time this week.

Trina Grimes Scott, Edwards' fiance, confirmed Monday to The Associated Press that she and Louisiana's former governor will exchange wedding vows on Friday at an undisclosed location.

Scott says about 10 guests will witness the ceremony but she wouldn't say who would officiate the occasion. No media will be allowed.

Edwards served eight years in prison for a bribery and extortion scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses. Scott, who is 32, befriended the 83-year-old groom-to-be while he was in prison. The couple currently lives together in Gonzales.

The wedding, Edwards' third, is scheduled a day before a grand 84th birthday party for Edwards with hundreds of people in New Orleans' French Quarter.

3 years ago

Edwin Edwards book tour starts this weekend in BR

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Two Baton Rouge bookstores are readying for a surge of visitors this weekend, when former Gov. Edwin Edwards begins a statewide tour to support his biography.
The Barnes & Noble locations are expecting hundreds of people to show up on Saturday and Sunday for the book signings, among the first public appearances to be made by the four-time former governor.
Abby Hannie, community relations manager for the bookseller in Baton Rouge, says the two stores will hand out wristbands hours before Edwards begins signing books at 2 p.m. each day. Hannie says the stores will try to accommodate anyone who gets a wristband and wants to wait to have the biography signed by Edwards and author Leo Honeycutt.

3 years ago

1st public event since release for ex-Gov. Edwards

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Former Gov. Edwin Edwards has attended his first public event since completing a 10-year federal prison term.
Edwards spoke briefly at Tuesday night's Foundation for Historical Louisiana dinner in Baton Rouge.
He said learning from the past better prepares people for the future, according to The Advocate of Baton Rouge.
Edwards, now 83, was convicted on racketeering charges related to the award of state casino gambling licenses. He spent the last months of his sentence in home confinement. He completed the sentence earlier this month.
Among honorees at the dinner were Leo Honeycutt, who wrote Edwards' authorized biography, and state Democratic Party Chairman Claude "Buddy" Leach, a former congressman who gave the four-term ex-governor a job he needed to move from prison to home confinement.

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3 years ago

Edwin Edwards Speaks Out at First Public Appearance

Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards made his first public appearance in Baton Rouge Tuesday night, and speaks on camera for the first time since his release from prison.

"I'm very, very happy to be back. I'm very pleased and flattered and honored that people have been so nice in welcoming me back. I didn't really expect to have that much sympathy from people," said Edwards.

The famed former governor was back in the public eye, attending an awards ceremony for historian-biographer Leo Honeycutt, who authored his bestseller centering around Edwards' time as governor.

"He's not making a lot of appearances, so yes I'm very honored by the fact that he would be here," said Honeycutt.

Banquets and old friends are a far cry from Edwards' former life in prison and under house arrest.

"I handled it like a man. I took it, I survived, I said I would walk out and I did," said Edwards of his sentence.

What he walked out to was a mostly warm welcome, with many people across the State saying they would re-elect Edwards again.

"That's amazing to me, I really feel like I came out of prison more popular than when I went in," said Edwards.

He said he credits part of that popularity to Honeycutt's book.

"Even though Edwards himself is a polarizing figure, I think that what happens is that people see themselves in the book, because it's really as much a biography of the state as it is of him," said Honeycutt.

Honeycutt said another book is also in the works. He said this project will be more fun though, including more pictures and antecdotes from Edwards' governorship.

Edwards said he's also in talks about starting up a reality show, but said it would be under the condition that it would show Louisiana and himself in a positive light.

"We're working on that, I've never seen a reality show, but I hear about them. And I want to assure everyone that if we have one, there will be nothing in it that's embarrassing the my State or to me and my family," said Edwards.

Edwards also said he plans to marry next month. And as for politics, he confirmed that chapter is closed in his life.

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3 years ago

Governor Edwin Edwards First On-Camera Interview

KATC's Maddie Garrett interviews former Governor Edwin Edwards tonight in Baton Rouge. Her story will air at 10:00 tonight. Among other things talks about his marriage (next month!), about doing time and being released, and about his potential reality show. He admits he's never seen one, but is interested in the possibilities!KATC's Maddie Garrett interviews former Governor Edwin Edwards tonight in Baton Rouge. Her story will air at 10:00 tonight. Among other things talks about his marriage (next month!), about doing time and being released, and about his potential reality show. He admits he's never seen one, but is interested in the possibilities!

3 years ago

Edwin Edwards Released

Edwin Edwards left this voicemail on biographer Leo Honeycutt's phone today, confirming his commitment at the halfway house has ended.

3 years ago

Former Governor Edwin Edwards will host a book signing

Former Governor Edwin Edwards will host a book signing at the Baton Rouge Barnes & Noble on Citiplace Court next week. Edwards and biographer Leo Honeycutt will be signing the book "edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana". The event begins at 2:00 on Saturday, July 16th. The next day, at 2:00, they'll be at the Perkins Road location of Barnes and Noble. Honeycutt tells us they do plan on making stops in Acadiana as well.

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3 years ago

Former Governor Edwin Edwards Released from Home Confinement Tomorrow

Former Governor Edwin Edwards will be released from house arrest tomorrow and will no longer be required to check in at Ecumenical House in Baton Rouge. Since his release from prison in January, Edwards has been confined to his home and has been reporting to the halfway house three times a week "so we could lay eyes on him, he could lay eyes on us," said Facility Director Darla O'Conner. A staff member checked in once a week with Edwards at his job and at his home. Also, supervision included hundreds of phone calls over the past six months.

Edwards will be placed on three years supervised probation, and will be required to abide by certain conditions while on probation. KATC's Jim Hummel is finding out the details of Edwards' probation and will have more information on the former governor's release from home confinement at 10:00 on KATC. He's expected to sign papers tomorrow at the halfway house.

Edwards went to prison in October 2002 for bribery and extortion involving the riverboat casino licensing process.

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3 years ago

Edwin Edwards--New Reality TV star?

Edwin Edwards is weeks away from being a free man. He is expected to complete his federal prison sentence on July 6. He's spent the last several months under home incarceration since his release from federal prison in January.


He's already making big plans for the future.
According to Edwards Facebook Page,he's talking with producers about starring in a TV show with fiance Trina Grimes Scott. Edward's Biographer, Leo Honeycutt, said Scott actually manages Edward's page, but he tells her what to write.


Many residents tell KATC they would be interested in watching a show about the former governor.


Kyle LeBeouf, said "he's so charismatic. I think he would makes for good TV."


Edward's first post said, "I am negotiating with a producer who is interested in doing a reality show dealing with my current personal life. Trina Grimes Scott and I are very excited about this opportunity and wanted you all to hear it here first! No further details at this time, but I will say that it is in the developmental stages!"


So far, he has hundreds of encouraging comments on his page. He posted something else on Monday afternoon..


It said "Trina Scott Grimes and I are excited to be working with producer Shawn Shanghani and SSS entertainment on a possible upcoming television project."


Crowley Resident, Debbie Henry, said he's so interesting that a lot of people would watch.
Henry Heiss added, "I don't think it will be big nation-wide but it'll be a big here in Louisiana."
There's been no confirmation from SSS Entertainment yet.


Honeycutt said this is the second time Edward's has been approached to do a reality show, and he will only go though with it if the content is good.

3 years ago

Edwards birthday bash will be roast in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Two-and-a-half weeks after his house arrest
is over, former Gov. Edwin Edwards will be feted at an 84th
birthday bash in New Orleans.
Edwards' brother Marion wanted the party on his brother's
birthday, Aug. 7, but accepted July 30 so it could be in the
ballroom where Edwin Edwards held his election-night parties,
Andrea Thornton, spokeswoman for the Monteleone Hotel, said Sunday.
Edwin Edwards began six months of house arrest on Jan. 13,
completing a 10-year federal term for racketeering riverboat
licenses. That will end in mid-July.
Thornton said the ballroom can hold 450 guests and likely will
be packed.
When word of the party began to spread, so many people wanted to
participate that it changed from a party to a roast, Thornton said.
"We thought it was totally planned, but things keep changing a
little bit," she said.
The list of roasters keeps growing and there's no decision yet
on whether to have entertainment beyond the roast, but there will
be an admission charge to cover the cost of ballroom, drinks, fancy
meal and any additional entertainment, Thornton said.
Asked if admission would be in the $50 or $150 range, she said,
"Oh, more than $150."
"It's going to be a really upscale dinner, with cocktails
first, and different wines with each course," she said.

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3 years ago

Supporters send well-wishes to Edwards

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The phone calls and incoming mail have picked up at Ecumenical House, a federal halfway house, in the two weeks since they added a famous prisoner to their watch list: former Gov. Edwin Edwards.
Though Edwards was allowed to serve the final six months of his prison term in home confinement at his daughter's house, the four-term former governor is assigned to Ecumenical House and must check in with them constantly.
Darla O'Connor, director of the halfway house, says Ecumenical House has been receiving a steady stream of notes, cards and calls from Edwards supporters.
She says one man called from Bunkie and told her to just tell Edwards "I appreciate him." She says Edwards averages one card a day in the mail - not typical for an inmate.
Edwards was released from federal prison after serving eight years on a corruption conviction.

3 years ago

Edwin Edwards begins his new job this week

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is starting his new job this week, doing research and consulting work for
businesses owned by the head of the Louisiana Democratic Party.
Party chairman Claude "Buddy" Leach said Wednesday that among Edwards' first tasks is to look into geothermal exploration and wind power generation opportunities for Leach's energy company. He
also says the former governor will help him with issues involving his agricultural business.
Leach says Edwards will work 25 to 40 hours a week and will be paid by the hour. Leach wouldn't disclose the hourly rate.
The 83-year-old Edwards was released from federal prison last
week after serving more than eight years for a corruption
conviction. He is completing his remaining six-month sentence in
home confinement.

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3 years ago

New Rap Song About Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards

South Louisiana Favorite, former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards can add a new rap song to a long list of media buzz and public fascination.

Following his release from prison and new job as a consultant for Buddy Leach, Edwards is the subject of a new rap song performed by Young Kidd Kid from Baton Rouge. The song was written by Karen Mire.

The song is only a little over 40 seconds long and the lyrics of the rap, from Karen Mire are:

Ewe - You ain't no thug dog
You in a halfway house
Back on the streets now
Headed for the White House.

( Repeat this chorus two times )

Verse #1 :

Caught you in the cookie jar
Slapped you real good
But you walked out without a doubt and headed for the hood
With your homies-those phonies couldn't keep you locked up
But we can't wait to see
what you got up your sleeve !!!!

Chorus :

Oh - Ewe - You ain't no thug dogg
You in a half-way house
Back on the streets now
Headed for the White House.

P.S. Ewe is a nickname for Edwin Edwards - ( just in case you didn't know)

See the video here :
Http://www.youtube.com/user/TheBrookBezar#p/u/0/nUx-fqV_nVo

3 years ago

Edwin Edwards starts job today

Former Governor Edwin Edwards goes back to work this morning. He'll be working for Democratic party leader Claude "Buddy" Leach.
Edwards will serve as a consultant of Leach's private company not the Democratic party. Edwards was required to get a job as part of his parole.

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3 years ago

Edwards hired as "consultant"

Louisiana Democratic Party leader Buddy Leach will employ former governor, Edwin Edwards throughout his probation.
Leach says Edwards will be a personal consultant; the governor's experience with the oil and gas industry will help him utilize alternative fuel sources.
"We got along well," Leach said, reflecting on the past. "It was all business."
A federal judge has mandated that Edwards works during his probation; a working relationship Leach extended to Edwards when he was released from jail on Thursday.
"It's only for 6 months," Leach said. "I told him I'd be happy for him to be my employee."
The governor's new job will focus on alternative energy sources.
"We talked about various projects that I would like to sit down and have longer discussions about," Leach said. "Most of it pertains to energy."
But why Edwards? Leach says it all has to do with the Louisiana mineral code.
"(Through) his reading and his visiting, he's up to date on every part of Louisiana."
Leach says the former governor will start working his new job on Tuesday in Baton Rouge.

3 years ago

Judge Reggie Speaks Out About Edwards' Release

New Thursday on Governor Edwin Edwards, his good friend and confidant Judge Edmund Reggie sits down with KATC to talk about their friendship before, during and after his prison sentence.

They met back in the 1940's, when both were law students at Tulane and then both got their political start in Crowley.

"We became friends and we've remained friends for over 60 years," said Reggie.

Friends in the good times and the bad, even when Edwards was convicted of racketeering and fraud in 2000.

"He endured this whole ordeal much better than any of us thought could be done," said Reggie.

Reggie wrote to Edwards every week for several years while he was in prison and made a few visits. He says Edwards remained popular, even behind bars.

"Prisoners who had visitors wanted his picture with their wife or with their children, so he was really the celebrity, they beloved him in the prison," he said.

But after almost a decade in a prison cell, has the former governor changed? Reggie says not so much.

"I find him to be the very same person, sharp tongue, humorous, introspective, and keeping up with everything by the day," said Reggie.

And the same could be said for their friendship.

"I'll be there for him till the cows come home," he said.

3 years ago

What's Next for Edwin Edwards

Many people in Edwin Edwards' home town of Crowley are excited about his release from prison Thursday. But probably no one is more ecstatic than Edwards himself.

"He's been looking forward to being out for a long time," said Leo Honeycutt, Edwards' biographer.

Honeycutt said that at 83 years old, Edwards has his eyes on the future.

"As soon as he gets past the six months in the half-way house he wants to take a month or so and take an RV out west and just breathe free and have a meal uninterrupted and anonymity," said Honeycutt.

Honeycutt also said he probably won't take that trip alone either. Edwards' new girlfriend, from Alexandria, will likely go with him.

"She said she fell in love with him through the biography and they started this pen pal relationship. And eventually he invited her to come visit him in prison and so she did. And I understand that they are very compatible and they like each other a lot," he said.

But Honeycutt doesn't hear wedding bells just yet.

"He's told me on a couple different occasions that there's two things you don't ever have to worry about with me again -- running for public office and getting married," said Honeycutt.

Still, Edwards won't be out of the public eye for long.

"He wants to start writing a sequel to the biography and we're going to start writing that immediately," he said.

Edwards will be taking his biography on a book tour sometime around August or September. He is also scheduled to be the Grand Marshal in Crowley's 75th Annual Rice Festival.

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3 years ago

Statement from Edwards' Family

"My father, Edwin Edwards, has been released from federal prison after 8 years 2 months and 21 days. He was released at 5 o'clock this morning. He arrived at Ecumenical House at approximately 8:30a.m. After doing all required paperwork and getting all instructions he was released to home confinement for a period of 6 months. During is home confinement he will have no contact with the press. After home confinement he will be on 3 years probation and subject to the rules and regulations of the federal probation office. He will certainly follow all rules.

Dad is well and very much looking forward to starting a new chapter in his life. This is a very happy yet emotional day for my family. Many thanks to everyone who has offered continuing support and well wishes during his incarceration.

I will continue to release all information as it becomes available."

Anna Edwards

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3 years ago

Edwin Edwards Leaves Halfway House With Family

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Former Gov. Edwin Edwards was released Thursday from federal prison and spent two hours at a Baton Rouge halfway house, before leaving with his daughter for an undisclosed location.
Edwards served eight years for a corruption conviction. The four-term former governor arrived in Baton Rouge at 7 a.m. after leaving the Oakdale prison.
Edwards went to prison in October 2002 on a 10-year sentence for a bribery and extortion scheme to rig Louisiana's riverboat casino licensing process during his final term in office. He has maintained his innocence.
Edwards, wearing a gray sweatshirt and cap, was brought to the halfway house by his daughter, Anna.
Asked it how it felt to be out of prison, Edwards said "I don't know yet." He refused to say anything else as he went inside.
Anna Edwards said she was ecstatic to have her father out of prison and in good health.
"He promised me eight years ago that he would walk out. He kept it. He walked out," she said.
Edwards left the halfway house about 9 a.m. with his daughter.
Edwards, 83, a Democrat, was convicted in a bribery and extortion scheme to rig the riverboat casino licensing process during his fourth and final term, which ended in 1996. He has maintained his innocence and blamed his conviction on former friends who he said turned against him and lied in their testimony and on misinterpreted, secretly taped conversations.
Known for his quick wit and easy charm, Edwards dominated Louisiana politics for decades and has continued to attract public interest though he's been out of elected office for 15 years. Even as he was serving prison time, speculation persisted about whether the former governor would weigh in on the state political scene when he emerged from jail.
He reported to prison in October 2002. While there, he divorced his second wife, Candy, and worked on an authorized biography of his nearly 50-year-long political career.
Edwards, a lifelong populist, won his first office in 1954, when he was elected to the city council in Crowley. He later moved to the Louisiana Legislature and Congress, before serving as governor for 16 years between 1972 and 1996.
A cunning politician, Edwards also had a reputation as a womanizer, a gambler - and a target of federal prosecutors.
By his own count, Edwards was the subject of two dozen investigations. He was acquitted on racketeering charges in the 1980s related to hospital and nursing home investments and on fraud charges in October 2000 related to the liquidation of a failed insurance company.
Edwards' son, Stephen, also was convicted in the casino corruption case and was released from a Texas prison in 2007.

3 years ago

A timeline of the Edwards case

Key developments in the federal investigation, conviction and imprisonment of former Gov. Edwin Edwards:

-April 1996: Texas brothers Patrick and Michael Graham approach
FBI in New Orleans with information about alleged criminal activityinvolving elected officials in Louisiana.

-October 1996: Federal investigators tap Edwards' Baton Rouge
home phone.

-December 1996: Federal investigators place microphone and video camera in the law office Edwards shared with his son, Stephen
Edwards.

-April 1997: FBI agents raid Edwards' home and law office. The homes and offices of Edwards' relatives, friends and business associates are also searched.

-Nov 1998: Edwards indicted in gambling corruption case. Also indicted are Edwards' son, Stephen, and several others.

-January 2000: Trial begins.


-May 9, 2000: Edwards convicted. Four others, including Stephen Edwards also convicted.

-January 2001: Edwards sentenced to 10 years and $250,000 fine.


-Oct. 21, 2002: Edwards reports to a federal prison in Fort Worth, TX.

-February 2003: U.S. Supreme Court rejects Edwards appeal.

-November 2004: Edwards moved to the federal prison at Oakdale.


-September 2007: Stephen Edwards released from Beaumont, TX, prison.

-January 2011: Edwards released from Oakdale prison and moved to a halfway house.

3 years ago

Edwin Edwards out of federal prison

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Former Gov. Edwin Edwards has been released from federal prison and moved to a halfway house, after serving eight years for a corruption conviction.
The four-term former governor arrived in Baton Rouge on Thursday morning after leaving the Oakdale prison. The 83-year-old Democrat is assigned to a halfway house for six months, until July.
Edwards went to jail in October 2002 on a 10-year sentence for a bribery and extortion scheme to rig Louisiana's riverboat casino licensing process during his final term in office. He has maintained his innocence.
Edwards was brought to the halfway house by his sister, Anna.

3 years ago

Edwin Edwards May Be Released This Week

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It appears former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards is only hours from being released from prison.

Sources tell WAFB 9NEWS a transfer order has been approved that allows Edwards to be released from the federal detention center in Oakdale, Louisiana and report to a halfway house in Baton Rouge by noon Friday. It is not clear exactly when the former governor will be let out.

Edwards has served eight-and-a-half years of a ten year sentence for bribery related to riverboat casino licenses. Federal rules required Edwards to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

The halfway house, known as the "Ecumenical House", is in Baton Rouge's "Mall City" located off Florida Boulevard. We're told Edwards will likely have to report there three times a week but he will not actually live at the facility. If approved by the Bureau of Prisons, Edwards will be allowed to live with relatives throughout his six-month probation period.

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3 years ago

Edwin Edwards Accepts Offer To Be Grand Marshal Of Rice Fest Parade

Former Governor Edwin Edwards is being released from prison, but before he is even released to a half-way house he already has an appearance scheduled. The gig-- Grand Marshal of the Rice Festival Parade in Crowley in October.
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The office of the International Rice Festival is full of memorabilia, pictures and photographs of the former gov. He is fondly thought of in this town:

Glyn Mayard, Co-Chair of the festival told, "We offered it to him through his brother, some people don't remember but Edwin was the grand marshal in 1959, we think we owe it to him for all the things he did for the town of Crowley and the rice industry and Acadia Parish."

This will be the 75th year, the diamond jubilee and as of now Edwards has accepted the offer.

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