COMMENTS BY EDDIE CASTAING (ATTORNEY FOR LORI BUDO)
Ms. Fink obviously does not understand the concept of a proffer, (i.e. that immunity grants are not necessarily given only to those involved in criminal conduct) nor does she see the distinction between an Attorney General’s internal memo and the actual statement of the defense attorney involved in the proffer.
Shortly before the publication of her book, Sheri Fink called and read from a purported Attorney General’s internal memo which allegedly summarized discussions between myself and the Attorney General’s office which Fink described as a “tantalizing offer.” The memo claims that one of my nurse clients confirmed that “injections on the 7th floor were made for the purpose of mercy killing” and that as the nurse’s lawyer, I was of the opinion that “injecting the patients was intended to kill them.”
None of this is true. After this call from Ms. Fink, I wrote an email to her June 24, 2013 which I told her the following:
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"As I told you a few years ago, and as I told you a couple of weeks ago, I did not relate to these representatives the allegations that you read to me, particularly what allegedly occurred on the 7th and 2nd floors following Hurricane Katrina, and I did not request immunity. I would never have given a proffer or factual detail without a firm agreement of non-prosecution. The AG’s report can reflect anything the AG wants it to state, but it should not be attributable to me. As proof of the fact that I did not relate those facts, we never received any agreement from the AG, and Lori Budo, and others, were arrested for four counts of second-degree murder in or about July, 2006."
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"The Attorney General meeting was not substantial or significant . . . My recollection of the purpose of the meeting was to coordinate the AG interviews of the pool of nurses that I was representing at that time, and not to give an attorney proffer or request immunity. The AG is obviously confused and mistaken."
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"You can print whatever you want, as you are inclined to do, but at least be responsible and report that the only information you have related to me, came from representatives of the Attorney General, as supposedly reflected in their report, which I have not seen, and that the other party to that conference, me, strenuously denies that any such information was related by me, and that I did not request or have any reason to request immunity. I assure you that, if you so erroneously make this report, I will truthfully impeach the credibility and integrity of it after it is published."
Despite my protestations to the contrary, Ms. Fink’s novel still misrepresents the facts as to what occurred. After printing the leaked Attorney General's memorandum as fact, several pages later, Ms. Fink writes that: ““Castaing, would years later… deny that he sought immunity for the nurse,” as if my denial is of recent vintage. Again, NONE OF THIS is TRUE from day one and the leaked internal memorandum is inaccurate, if not misleading.
Ultimately, my client testified before the Grand Jury and the result was a “No True Bill” as to the charges against Anna Pou.
It is improper for Attorney General attorneys or investigators to share such internal memos with members of the media, especially since the Louisiana Supreme Court has directed that the Public Records Act does not allow for its disclosure in view of the D.A.’s assertion of the law enforcement privilege. The danger of such improper releases is apparent because the A.G.’s internal memo does not accurately reflect the facts and apparently was leaked by those with some type of agenda.