Professional Los Angeles Lawyers

AG of Louisiana Demands to Open Files on Katrina's Death Toll

Charles Foti, attorney general of Louisiana, on Wednesday, requested a judge to issue an official permission for hospital documents to be unsealed in order to support his claims on the patient murder by a doctor of a New Orleans hospital. As alleged by Foti, the doctor has murdered patients of his a few days after the Hurricane Katrina happened. Earlier, Foti was not granted with an indictment against the said doctor.


Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/03/2007 -- This request of Attorney General Foti, was declared by legal experts as a peculiar move. It was obviously issued in order to justify his determination to press charges against the New Orleans doctor, Anna Pou. Earlier on Tuesday, the grand jury refused to indict Dr. Pou.

Law professor, Dane Ciolino of the Loyola University, draws a conclusion saying that Attorney General Foti might be wishing to receive controversial attention by issuing such demand for the sake of his personal political interests. Furthermore, it is quite apparent that he was seeking to be exonerated in the eyes of the public on account of his actions.

On January 2006, Judge Calvin Johnson had agreed to seal the subpoena requests, search warrants and other pleadings released by Attorney General Foti. The judge, with the aim of considering the prosecutor's office request to unseal such records, scheduled a hearing on August 6.

Julie Cullen, the assistant Attorney General, backed up Foti's demand. She declared that the documents must not be excluded anymore from the public since there are no pending criminal charges nor is here a criminal investigation being conducted. Cullen had been a participant during the proceedings by the grand jury. She was present along with the prosecutors from the office of District Attorney Eddie Jordan.

Rick Simmons, the lawyer defending Dr. Pou issued several criticisms regarding Foti's request for the release of documents. According to Simmons, the request is equivalent to character assassination without them having the power or opportunity for cross-examination or defense.

To recall the events leading to the recent developments, last summer, Dr. Pou, along with two nurses from the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans was arrested after Foti proclaimed conclusions that they let four patients drink "lethal cocktails" a few days after the Hurricane Katrina hit the country on August 2005.

Foti pointed accusations of murder to the trio and that they were "playing God." The three denied the accusations with their colleagues rallying to support their contention.

Earlier during the present year, the two nurses were obligated by the grand jury to proclaim their testimonies. Consequently, the cases against them were dropped.

Still, Foti has declared that there were errors of judgment on the part of the grand jury. Thus, the demand he had made to unseal significant documents heretofore barred from public view.

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