Jan 1, 2013 11:31 AM by AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal attorneys have subpoenaed The Times-Picayune's parent company for information about 11 commenters on the newspaper's website, as part of an investigation of posts there by two federal prosecutors.
Company attorneys have objected thus far to providing the information, asking the government to explain why it's wanted, the newspaper reported.
The Justice Department is investigating anonymous comments, including criticism of judges and comments about cases, posted on NOLA.com by two top prosecutors under U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, who resigned Dec. 6.
The subpoena seeks a listing of all comments and IP addresses associated with them since Jan. 1, 2007, for the 11 user-names and for pseudonyms that former prosecutors Jan Mann and Sal Perricone acknowledged using.
Defense attorneys have said the posts are evidence that the prosecutors improperly tried to influence cases.
The newspaper said only a handful of the 11 other user-names "seem to be focused on affairs at the federal courthouse," and it could not find any comments associated with three.
Perricone resigned in March after acknowledging he had made hundreds of comments under the name "Henry L. Mencken1951" about judges, politicians and cases on which he has worked.
Letten demoted Mann, his top assistant, after she admitted posting several anonymous comments on the same site. She and her husband, another ranking prosecutor, retired Dec. 15.