Edwin Edwards Praises Letten, Treen – Takes Shots at Jordan, Polozola

At 84, Edwin Edwards says he is happy, healthy and enjoying his life and his new bride, Trina. The two were married last summer, about seven months after he was released from federal prison.

Trina Scott Grimes & hubby Edwin Edwards

Trina Scott Grimes & hubby Edwin Edwards

Louisiana’s only four-term governor is on his third try at marriage, to a woman 50 years his junior. He met her in prison after she read his authorized biography and wrote him a letter.

As he did with all of the more than 30,000 letters he received in jail, Edwards wrote her back.

“At some point she asked if she could visit me, because she only lived 30 minutes from the prison,” he said. “After the first visit, which I was very happy to arrange, she came every visiting day for the whole time I was in prison and it made me the camp hero, by the way.”

“She would park in the parking lot and they would line up in the window to watch her walking. I thought she was coming to visit me but I think she thought she was entertaining the troops,” he joked.

“My side’s a lot different than that,” Trina countered.

Both say they are happy together, raising her two children and keeping a very busy schedule. Actually, the former governor is working on a book that he says will go into great detail about the trial that sent him to jail for nearly a decade.

“I want people to see what Judge (Frank) Polozola said, on the record, in the trial.”

We asked what Edwards would say to Polozola if he saw him.

“You didn’t win,” Edwards responded, even though he is the one who spent nearly ten years in prison.

“Yeah, but Edwin Edwards got out. I don’t say I’m the winner, but I’m simply saying he didn’t win, because he didn’t do what I think he tried to do, and that is destroy me.”

What about the two men who prosecuted his case – then-U.S. attorney Eddie Jordan and the man who would go on to fill that post, Jim Letten?

“You know, I think karma comes into play. Eddie Jordan is a disgraced fellow today. He had to resign in disgrace to keep the (Orleans District Attorney’s) office from just going completely bankrupt and today is acting as a public defender,” Edwards said.

“He (Jordan) sat through my trial for four months, never raised a voice, never asked a question, never made an objection. He sat at the table, slept most of the time, and certainly didn’t contribute to the case. If you want to give credit to somebody for convicting Edwin Edwards, give it to Jim Letten.”

We asked what Edwards would say to Letten, if the two met up today?

“I’d tell him that if the saint had killed a dragonfly instead of a dragon, nobody would remember him,” Edwards said.

“But when you do something like convict Edwin Edwards, after all the other people have tried for 20 years, it puts a feather in your hat. Whether you did it right or wrong, honestly or by the rules or not, is immaterial. It’s a success story and I tip my hat to him,” Edwards said.

The ex-governor says he has few regrets about his life and is proud of his years as Louisiana’s governor. He believes history will remember his accomplishments with high regard.

And for this man with a lightning wit, who has always been the king of one-liners, there is one line he regrets ever uttering.

“The thing that I really wish I could take back is that Dave Treen is so slow it takes him an hour and a half to watch ’60 Minutes.’ He developed with me and was so kind to me while I was in prison and so helpful, and was such a gentleman, that I regret anything that I have may have said about him, even in the heat of a campaign. They just didn’t come any better.”

Treen, who worked tirelessly to try and have his former foe released from prison early, died before Edwards got out of jail. But their unlikely friendship is one that has truly withstood the test of time.

Former Governor Dave Treen

Former Governor the late Dave Treen

Thanks to WWLTV.com

~ by neworleansmusicman on December 16, 2011.

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