It seemed only a matter of time. The disgraced New Orleans federal prosecutor who just could not keep his fingers off his keyboard when he went to The Times-Picayune’s website has resigned.

Eastern District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said in a prepared statement that the resignation of Salvador Perricone does not preclude the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility from taking additional action against the former assistant U.S. attorney.

It was landfill owner Fred Heebe, the apparent target of a federal probe also involving Henry Mouton of Lafayette, who exposed Perricone’s online antics, alleging in a civil defamation lawsuit that the prosecutor had posted about 600 comments on the Times-Picayune’s website as “Henry l. Mencken1951.” Perricone admitted to using the handle last week; many of the comments were related to Heebe’s case.

Perricone voluntarily put himself on annual leave last week, paid annual leave, but by Monday that status had changed. His resignation was effective yesterday, according to Letten (who also characterized it as a retirement):

In the immediate wake of former AUSA Perricone’s departure, our partners in government and law enforcement and the citizens we serve must know that absolutely none of the comments, criticisms, or characterizations made were in any way reflective of my views or opinions — or those of the Department or this office or our people. To the contrary, we resoundingly reject the caustic criticisms and sentiments expressed in these message.

Also, make no mistake about it. We are strong. We are focussed on our singular mission of protecting the safety, rights and freedoms of all of our citizens. And as we move forward, we are ever-strengthening our partnerships and pursuing our investigations fairly, and without missing a step.

Read the T-P’s extensive, riveting coverage of the sad Perricone saga here.

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