Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal allegedly called one of the federal prosecutors in his pending civil rights case a “sorry son-of-a-bitch Jew bastard” and made comments about shooting him between his “g*******d Jewish eyes,” according to court documents filed Wednesday.
The comments, which prosecutors said were made during secretly recorded conversations, were included in a request to tighten the rules Ackal must follow pending his trial in a sweeping federal probe of inmate abuse and cover-ups at the Sheriff’s Office.
The comments are believed to have been directed at Mark Blumberg, a Washington D.C.-based Justice Department lawyer who met with Ackal prior to his indictment on criminal civil rights violations, according to prosecutors.
According to a transcript of portions of the recording filed into the court record, Ackal made reference to “this sorry son-of-a-bitch Jew bastard in Washington, saying he is going to send me to a federal pen.”
Ackal also talks about how a prosecutor told him “I’m gonna put you in prison” and discussed a possible deal with the sheriff.
“You know about these people. You can give them to us,” Ackal said, recalling what federal prosecutors told him. “I said the only thing I’m gonna give you — f*****g shoot you right between your g*******d Jewish-eyes-look-like-opossum bastard.”
Ackal’s defense attorney, John McClindon, said Wednesday he could not comment without first hearing the recording and knowing more about it.
“Neither the sheriff nor I have been provided a copy of the recording in which these statements were allegedly made. Until we listen to them it is hard to comment. We would like to know , if such recording is legitimate, who made the recording and who asked this person to make this surreptitious recording,” McClindon said in an e-mail.
In the court filing, prosecutors said the comments were made in a series of recordings by an “unsolicited informant” earlier this year and recently provided to federal authorities.
Prosecutors characterized Ackal’s alleged comments as threats and cited them in a request to add a long list of new conditions on the sheriff remaining out of jail pending trial.
Among the restrictions proposed by the federal prosecutors: require Ackal to report on a regular basis to a pre-trial supervision officer; be subject to unannounced inspections of his home, vehicle and office to ensure he does not possess any weapons; avoid locations where he would have ready access to a weapon; avoid all contact with the alleged victims in the federal case; and refrain from the excessive use of alcohol.
The only condition of release Ackal currently has is that he not possess a firearm.
No court hearing has been set on the request for the new conditions.
Ackal, one of his top supervisors and a captain face criminal charges in a federal investigation that has already netted guilty pleas this year from nine deputies.
The investigation has focused on a series of 2011 beatings inside the jail’s chapel, a location prosecutors say was chosen because there were no surveillance cameras.
According to the indictment, Ackal directed the beatings — telling deputies to “take care” of certain men. Some of the inmates were accused of making improper comments toward deputies, and one of the inmates had allegedly written letters complaining of the jail’s conditions.
Ackal faces two counts of conspiracy against rights and two counts of deprivation of rights.