The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office is still collecting information on the Aug. 18 arrest of Richard Reed, brother of Walter Reed, the district attorney for St. Tammany and Washington parishes, and has not made a decision about what charges to bring before a grand jury, according to Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell.
As a result, Reed’s arraignment, originally set for Thursday morning, was delayed until Dec. 4 at Caldwell’s request.
Reed was booked on a count of sexual battery after Covington police reviewed surveillance footage from the Chimes Restaurant, where Reed was involved in an incident on the night of Aug. 10. Caldwell said he expects any charges against Reed would be presented to a grand jury.
Reed did not appear in court Thursday, but his attorney, Buddy Spell, promised he would come to the courthouse within 24 hours to be served with notice of the new arraignment date.
Reed was arrested more than a week after an incident at the Chimes in which Covington police were called about an intoxicated woman who had become belligerent. When officers arrived, people at the restaurant told them she had left with a man in a car. That car was spotted at a nearby red light and pulled over into a parking lot.
Reed got out of his car and flashed an honorary “district attorney investigator” badge at the officers. He assured them he had the situation under control, but the officers insisted on speaking to the woman, who was so drunk that the officers took her to the police station and had her checked by medical personnel. She was found not to be in any immediate danger, and eventually she was released to some friends with a citation for public intoxication.
During her approximately three hours at the police station, however, Reed came to the station several times in an attempt to get the woman released into his custody. She refused, saying she didn’t know him, and police did not let her go with him.
More than a week later, Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz announced that Reed had been arrested for sexual battery after officers viewed surveillance video from inside the restaurant. On the video, officers saw Reed grope the woman “more than once,” Lentz said.
The charges against the woman were dropped.
Reed already had been at the center of controversy due to his connection with his brother, who in addition to being the district attorney had a $30,000-a-year agreement to provide legal services for St. Tammany Parish Hospital, where Richard Reed worked until June. Emails leaked to nola.com and WVUE-TV showed that hospital officials may have created a full-time position for Richard Reed.
Walter Reed’s arrangement with the hospital also has come under scrutiny after he claimed he provided legal advice in a private capacity while hospital officials claimed their agreement was with the District Attorney’s Office.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.