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Jan 3, 2013 5:11 AM by AP

Judge orders feds to reply to misconduct claims

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal prosecutors have a Thursday deadline to respond to a defense attorney's claims that the corruption case against former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.

Robert Jenkins, Broussard's lawyer, claims former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office failed to thoroughly investigate the source of alleged leaks to local television stations WVUE-TV and WWL-TV about Broussard's impending indictment.

Broussard pleaded guilty in September to charges he cheated taxpayers in a payroll fraud scheme and took payoffs from a parish contractor.

Last month, Jenkins asked U.S. District Judge Hayden Head to order a hearing on his claim that high-ranking prosecutors plotted to destroy Broussard's public image.

Head didn't immediately rule on Jenkins' request but ordered prosecutors to respond to Jenkins' allegations by Thursday.

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