State Supreme Court disbars former assistant U.S. attorney over internet posts

By Karen Kidd | Dec 6, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Harahan attorney and former assistant U.S. attorney Salvador R. Perricone has been disbarred following a Dec. 5 Louisiana Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding regarding alleged inappropriate anonymous postings on a local newspaper's website over five years.

"[Perricone]'s conscious decision to vent his anger by posting caustic, extrajudicial comments about pending cases strikes at the heart of the neutral dispassionate control, which is the foundation of our system," the state high court said in its 22-page attorney disciplinary proceeding. "Our decision must send a strong message to [Perricone] and to all the members of the bar that a lawyer's ethical obligations are not diminished by the mask of anonymity provided by the Internet."

The high court decided not to give Perricone credit for effectively suspending himself and ordered him to pay all costs and expenses.

Retired Judge Gay Gaskins and retired Judge Hillary Crain were assigned as justices ad hoc to sit on the case in place of Justice Greg G. Guidry and Justice John L. Weimer, who recused themselves.

Perricone was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on Oct. 5, 1979, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website. Perricone had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the court's attorney disciplinary proceeding.

Perricone began working in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisiana's Eastern District in 1991, serving as senior litigation counsel and the district's training officer.

Perricone is alleged to have posted on the New Orleans Times-Picayune's website between 2007 and 2012, with many posts referring to the U.S. Attorney's Office where he worked.  Perricone, allegedly posting under the user names "Campstblue", "Legacyusa", "Dramatis Personae", "Henry L. Menken 1951" and "Fed up", also commented negatively about state and federal judges.

Perricone has stipulated to most of the allegations against him but has argued his conduct was not a conflict of interest.

In January a LADB hearing committee split in its recommendation that Perricone be suspended two years, with one year deferred to give Perricone credit for his self-imposed "voluntary interim suspension" of now more than five years.

In July a split Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board recommended Perricone be disbarred with one dissenting board member saying the former assistant attorney general "certainly warrants a lengthy suspension" but not disbarment.

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Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board Louisiana State Bar Association Louisiana Supreme Court

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