Former longtime North Shore District Attorney Walter Reed, once one of Louisiana’s most powerful politicians, is now federal inmate No. 34260-034.
Three years after he was convicted on federal corruption charges and two years after being sentenced to a four-year prison term, Reed, 72, surrendered Friday (May 17) at the federal correctional facility at Morgantown, West Virginia, to begin serving his time, the federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed.
Simmons said Reed, who recently had surgery for prostate cancer, was more concerned about the medical care he will receive than the prison itself.
“It’s not one of those high-walled institutions,” Simmons said. “It’s in the mountains. Aesthetically, it’s not that bad, but prison is still prison. The medical side has him more worried than the jail.”
Simmons said there are outpatient facilities near the prison were Reed can receive radiation treatments.
Reed, who had remained free on bond while appealing his case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, was originally ordered to report to prison April 1 after his appeal was rejected. U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon gave Reed extensions for medical tests and surgery after Reed was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The former longtime district attorney for St. Tammany and Washington parishes, who built a reputation as a tough-as-nails prosecutor, sought another delay until June 17 but was denied this week by Fallon.
A jury convicted Reed of corruption charges in May 2016 after an 11-day trial. Reed was found guilty of 18 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, making false statements on his federal income tax returns and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to launder money. The case focused largely on Reed’s spending of campaign money and his pocketing of money from St. Tammany Parish Hospital for legal services when that money should have gone to the district attorney’s office.
Simmons said he has asked U.S. Supreme Court to review Reed’s case.