State waits to examine seized material from Palermo's businesses

State waits to examine seized material from Palermo's businesses
Another court hearing was held Monday regarding the ongoing investigation into Sulphur businessman Joe Palermo by Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier.

Discussion became heated at times as the two sides battled over computers and files that were seized from Palermo's businesses by the state after a search warrant was issued.

"We certainly want to protect the rights of any defendant in any criminal case to communicate privately with his lawyer," said DeRosier, "That, however, does not mean that we should not be entitled to use search warrants and use the material we derive from search warrants in criminal investigations."

Judge Ron Ware ruled that a Special Master, someone who will obtain evidence and decide whether client-attorney privilege exists, will be appointed before the state can examine the material.

Defense Attorney Karl Koch said, "We're very pleased with the way things turned out today. The judge took unusual measures to prevent what otherwise would have been a very serious problem here. This was clearly an attempt by the district attorney to spy on the defense, right before an important hearing."

The next hearing is set for September 10.
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