(AP) - Edwin Edwards has ended his home detention and soon will be attending public events, nearly nine years after heading to prison for a corruption conviction.
In a Wednesday morning Facebook posting , Edwards’ fiance, Trina Grimes Scott, says the four-term former governor has signed forms officially ending his six-month home detention and allowing him to begin a series of planned public appearances around Louisiana.
The charismatic and popular politician is embarking on a book tour in about a week. He’s in talks for a reality TV show. He’s making plans for a third wedding. And he’s having an 84th birthday party in the French Quarter on July 30.
His return to freedom, however, was understated - not marked with the flash and cunning commentary for which the former governor has long been known. The paperwork was signed in private and Edwards made no immediate public statement about the milestone.
Edwards served eight years in prison for a bribery and extortion scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses. He began home incarceration in January. He’ll be on probation for three years.
The populist Democrat dominated Louisiana politics for decades, but he can only re-enter the political scene as an adviser, a commentator or as a supporter of another candidate. Because of his conviction, Edwards can’t make a bid for elected office until 15 years after his sentence completion unless he is pardoned.
Edwards won his first office in 1954, elected to the city council in Crowley. He later moved into the Louisiana Legislature and Congress, before serving as governor for 16 years between 1972 and 1996. By his own count, Edwards was the subject of two dozen investigations in elected office, before his conviction for his handling of riverboat casino licenses during his final term. Edwards has maintained his innocence.