Apr 9, 2010 4:10 PM by Letitia Walker
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards had a three-day
furlough this week from the federal prison where he's serving a
10-year sentence for his conviction on corruption charges,
according to newspaper reports.
The former governor's brother, Marion Edwards, told The
Times-Picayune that the 82-year-old former governor spent time with
his children and ate dinner at Pat's, a popular restaurant in
Henderson, between Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
State Rep. Jerry "Truck" Gisclair of Larose, who stays at a
campground in Port Allen, west of Baton Rouge, during legislative
sessions, told The Advocate of Baton Rouge that he learned Edwards
was staying nearby one morning earlier this week.
"And one of the other legislators staying there knocked on my
door and said Edwin Edwards is a couple of campers away," Gisclair
recalled Thursday afternoon.
"I said, 'I've got to meet him,"' he added.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons would not confirm that Edwards had
been given a furlough. But an agency spokesman said it is not
unusual for inmates to take short periods from prison to
re-establish family ties as they approach a release date. Edwards
is scheduled for release in July 2011.
Marion Edwards said the furlough ended Tuesday night and had
been planned for several months. He said he expects his brother to
be moved to a halfway house in January.
Harvey Huval, part owner and manager of Pat's, said the former
governor and several family members and friends surprised them with
"Before he went to prison he had lunch there and said when he
got out he would have lunch there again, and that's what he did,"
his friend, B.I. Moody of Crowley, told The Advertiser newspaper in
Moody said Edwards was in good spirits and enjoyed the visit
with friends, including restaurant founder and former Henderson
mayor Pat Huval.
Wearing a blue jumpsuit, Edwards "looked really good for an
83-year-old man," Huval said. "He was sharp as a cat. His
one-liners were on the money. He was good with the women, like
Edwards is serving a 10-year sentence at the federal prison in
Oakdale, La., for 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.