Since reporting Monday that guilty pleas may come as early as this week in the ongoing federal bribery investigation involving District Attorney Mike Harson’s office's handling of OWIs and other types of cases, IND Monthly has since confirmed that Barna Haynes was scheduled to enter a guilty plea to an undisclosed charge (or charges) Monday at 10:30 a.m.
For unknown reasons, it didn't happen. Haynes is Harson's former office administrator.
|According to this screen shot, captured early Tuesday morning, DA Mike Harson's
longtime office administrator, Barna Haynes, was scheduled to plead guilty in the
ongoing federal bribery investigation into the office's handling of OWIs and other cases.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office listed the scheduled guilty plea on its calendar for Monday. An email inquiry to Finley spokeswoman Mona Hardwick about the matter was not immediately answered Tuesday morning, and Haynes’ scheduled guilty plea has since been removed from the calendar.
|Barna Haynes' scheduled guilty plea did not take place Monday for undisclosed reasons, according to her attorney, and has since been removed from the U.S. Attorney's calendar.|
On Monday Hardwick said the office would have no comment on questions IND Monthly posed about possible plea deals this week.
Haynes’ criminal defense attorney, Frank Dawkins, would not comment on widespread speculation of a guilty plea Monday, but on Tuesday did confirm that his client was slated to enter a plea yesterday morning. “It was scheduled [for Monday],” he says. “But it got put off.”
Dawkins declined further comment.
Haynes is believed to be a target in the investigation along with private investigator Robert Williamson; her office and Williamson’s home were searched by the feds on the same day in February of last year. Haynes, Harson's office administrator for more than three decades (she also worked for him before he was DA), was placed on unpaid leave after the feds searched her office and resigned Aug. 28.
An undisclosed number of people, including local attorneys, received letters from the U.S. Attorney’s Office offering plea deals. KLFY obtained a copy of one of the letters (it is unclear if everyone received the same offer) and posted it here.
“I do know that there are ongoing plea discussions with some people, some of the targets of the investigation,” says Alexandria criminal defense attorney Mike Small, who represents Williamson. “It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that there are pleas entered.”
Small says his client will not be among those pleading guilty. “We have not had any offers of a plea to resolve the Williamson case. ... Unless things change I really don’t anticipate it,” he says. Read more about Williamson's checkered past here.