Gov. John Bel Edwards' political adversaries sometimes facetiously refer to him as "Gov. Honor Code," a reference to his campaign's heavy emphasis on the fact that his fellow West Point cadets once chose him to enforce the military academy's prohibition on lying, cheating, stealing or tolerating those who do.
So the federal investigation that has at least touched on Edwards' brother Daniel, the fourth-term sheriff of the governor's native Tangipahoa Parish, is more than a bit awkward.
Yet Edwards is staking his own reputation on his sibling's integrity. Asked at his year-end press conference Wednesday about the stunning raid of Daniel Edwards' office last week, the governor essentially said that he doesn't know the full situation, but does know his brother.
Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday gave a forceful defense of his brother, Tangipahoa Sherif…
"Without any fear of contradiction or ever being proven wrong, I will tell you now, he did not engage in anything improper, much less illegal," John Bel Edwards told reporters. "I have all the confidence in the world in that, and I think that time will bear that out."
The FBI raided Daniel Edwards' office and the Hammond Police Department last Thursday, in connection with a wide-ranging probe into a federal drug task force linked to officers accused of stealing drugs and cash seized during narcotics investigations.
Two ex-Tangipahoa sheriff's deputies have been charged. Among the items seized during the daylong raid was the sheriff's computer, along with other computers, cell phones and case files.
The past year has been a tumultuous one for Daniel Edwards, the fourth-term sheriff of Tangi…
Daniel Edwards's role in the probe is unclear, although he is apparently close to Chad Scott, the former task force leader who has been suspended by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The sheriff told reporters last week that his office is cooperating fully with the investigation.
John Bel Edwards made it clear this week that that's good enough for him, and it may well prove good enough for the feds.
In the meantime, though, the governor's enemies may well have more to say about the situation — particularly in light of his strong words this week.