St Tammany DA Update – 8/20/14

St. Tammany DA’s brother, Richard Reed, booked with felony sexual battery

By Heather Nolan, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Richard Reed, the brother of St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed, has been booked with sexual battery after Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz said he reviewed surveillance video from the Chimes restaurant that showed Reed made sexual advances toward “an incapacitated female that rose to the level of a criminal act.”

The arrest stems from an incident in which Richard Reed, 65, of Covington, was pulled over with an allegedly intoxicated woman in his car.

Lentz said at a press conference Tuesday (Aug. 19) that he reviewed the video last week which showed the woman resisting Reed’s advancements “violently by punching and kicking Mr. Reed in an attempt to get away.”

“The actions of Richard Reed that night can be best described as disturbing,” Lentz said. “Mr. Reed is observed on the video groping the lady’s breasts, along with placing his hand in the area of her genitalia on more than one occasion.”

Lentz would not publicly release the video, saying it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation. Reed was arrested Monday, Lentz said.

Walter Reed issued a statement saying he would recuse himself and his office from the case.

Lentz said last week that officers were called to The Chimes in Covington on Aug. 10 after an allegedly intoxicated woman at the bar became belligerent and started throwing punches. Lentz said police now believe her behavior stemmed from Reed’s advances.

Once officers arrived, Lentz said someone in the parking lot told them they saw the woman leave in a Honda Accord, that officers later determined was driven by Reed. Lentz said police still are unsure how the woman ended up in Reed’s car.

“We have no one that has said she went screaming, kicking or yelling into his car,” he said.

After tracking down the Accord, Covington police said Reed flashed a “wallet badge” from the District Attorney’s Office, trying to give the impression that he had credentials with the office.

Officers ignored the badge.

Police: Tammany DA’s brother booked with sexual battery after groping drunk woman

By Faimon A. Roberts III

Richard Reed, the brother of embattled St. Tammany and Washington Parishes District Attorney Walter Reed, repeatedly groped an intoxicated woman’s breasts and genitals inside a Covington restaurant, Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz alleged Tuesday in announcing Reed’s arrest on a count of sexual battery.

Reed, 65, surrendered without incident Monday night after a nearly weeklong investigation into a bizarre episode Aug. 10 in which he attempted to drive the intoxicated woman home, and then sought to shoo away police by flashing an honorary badge issued by the DA’s Office.

Police had been called to The Chimes restaurant in Covington that night because the woman allegedly had gotten belligerent at the bar, but Reed took her to his car before police arrived. His car was spotted at a nearby red light and was pulled over. Police ignored Reed’s badge and insisted on speaking to the woman, who was slumped over in Reed’s back seat, Lentz said.

After taking the woman to the police station to make sure she wasn’t in danger of alcohol poisoning, police cited her for public intoxication and sent her home with friends, Lentz said. The charge against the woman was dropped after city prosecutor Rene Frederick reviewed the incident.

St. Tammany Parish DA Walter Reed should resign: James Varney

By James Varney, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Perhaps power isn’t inherently corrupt. It may be that holding it for too long guarantees some level of corruption.

That may be one of the factors at play as St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed’s three-decade career unravels. As the revelations mount that he played fast and loose with money and a sibling gets arrested, it seems clear Reed has been at the helm too long.

Why not resign? Is Reed another example of a politician who digs in his heels against all allegations and, impervious to shame or remorse, soldiers on because he needs the money or can’t live outside the spotlight?

St. Tammany Parish has had its share of such characters recently. Convicted former coroner Peter Galvan springs to mind. Here was a man who, in the face of overwhelming evidence, had the gall to sue the parish thereby costing taxpayers even more in legal fees.

In Reed’s case, he’s always had a knack for not answering questions. His announcement that he won’t seek re-election but will cling to the job and the paycheck until then is reflective of a man too comfortable with the levers of power.

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