Covering Louisiana

Oct 31, 2012 12:57 PM by AP

Landfill owner's defamation suit gets new judge

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has disqualified herself from presiding over a landfill owner's defamation lawsuit against a former federal prosecutor who resigned after acknowledging he anonymously posted comments on a newspaper's website about judges, politicians and cases.

U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan recused herself from the case Tuesday because her husband is a partner at the law firm representing former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone.

River Birch landfill owner Fred Heebe's suit against Perricone was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo.

Perricone, who resigned in March, posted hundreds of comments at nola.com, the companion website of The Times-Picayune, under the username "Henry L. Mencken1951."

Some of his posts were about Heebe, whose landfill is at the center of a federal probe. Heebe hasn't been charged with a crime.

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