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Investigation into former D.A. appears ongoing, but attorney maintains charges were refused

Kyle Barnett -   Sep 12, 2013

Two weeks ago, attorney Ralph Capitelli said that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had declined to press charges against his client, former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel, after being presented with evidence gathered by the FBI. However, Capitelli now says that the FBI appears to still be investigating the case.

The FBI is said to be examining whether Morel granted leniency in criminal cases in exchange for sexual favors.Capitelli said he believes FBI agents who do not want to admit they were wrong continue to look into possible leads even though the case seems to be dead.

“Some agents really are not good at their jobs. They don’t understand the mechanics,” he said.

Capitelli said he is aware of someone who was recently interviewed by investigators in Mississippi. That person told the FBI that they did not know anything about the case, Capitelli said.

“They went all the way to Mississippi unannounced and knocked on this person’s door,” he said. “That person asked me, ‘What in the world are these agents doing knocking on my door asking me questions? I don’t know nothing. I don’t have anything to tell them.’ That was about a week and a half ago.”

Despite reports of investigators reaching out to potential witnesses, Capitelli said his understanding is that the case has wrapped up.

“Whatever evidence there was I am sure all of it was presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who rejected all of it,” he said.

Capitelli said just because FBI agents may be interviewing people in the case does not mean that charges are forthcoming.

“They can go talk to all the witnesses they want. They can come talk to me if they want, that doesn’t mean it has any substance to it,” he said.

Both the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on this story.

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