May 13, 2010 9:48 AM by Sharlee Jacobs
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The former director of Louisiana Prison
Enterprises has been sentenced to five months in federal prison for
witness tampering in a prison corruption investigation.
James H. Leslie, 58, also was sentenced Wednesday to five months
of home detention and fined $10,000 by U.S. District Judge Frank
Polozola. Leslie pleaded guilty to charge in August 2006.
A grand jury accused Leslie of "coaching" a witness, rodeo
producer Dan Klein, on what to say about grass seed and fertilizer
that was spread on Klein's Clinton-area pasture in 2004 and 2005 at
state expense. Prosecutors said Leslie did not known Klein had been
cooperating with the FBI and was recording Leslie's instructions.
Klein went to the FBI and federal prosecutors in April 2004,
claiming that Louisiana State Penitentiary Warden Burl Cain forced
him to give $1,000 to a prison chapel fund in order to keep his
contract to supply livestock for prison rodeos. Cain has denied the
allegation, saying Klein was a willing donor.
The judge ordered Leslie to report to prison on June 14.
He also was indicted last year on three counts of mail fraud in
connection with the alleged fraudulent sale of state-owned horses
at Angola. A trial is on hold while Leslie appeals a legal issue.