Frank Marullo, the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court judge who this month survived a legal challenge to his right to run for office again at age 74 now appears to be facing an allegation that he offered his backing for a plum court job to one of his challengers in order to grease her exit from the race.Staked out by a Mackel. Oh dear, well that is embarrassing. Meanwhile, Frank Marullo had dinner at Mandina's. So maybe that's news although probably it's not. Let's ask the experts.
Marullo purportedly offered local lawyer Marie Williams his support for a magistrate commissioner’s post at the court if she would drop out of the race for Marullo’s Section D seat.
The conversation was surreptitiously recorded Wednesday inside Mandina’s restaurant, Marullo’s favored dining spot. A WDSU-TV reporter had staked out the Mid-City restaurant and quizzed Marullo as the judge left the restaurant.
In a snippet of the conversation aired Monday evening on the TV station, Marullo can be heard cautioning Williams that he has only one vote among the dozen judges who are charged with selecting four commissioners for the court. He then follows that by saying, “I will vote for you.”
The snippet did not make clear whether Marullo offered that support in exchange for Williams’ promise to get out of the race.
Marullo was confronted outside the restaurant by WDSU reporter Travers Mackel. In a short interview, Marullo said there was no quid pro quo and even denied that he had offered his vote to Williams.
Asked about the conversation, Dane Ciolino, who teaches law at Loyola University, said, “I think it raises questions.”Let's see.. questions raised by this. Ok Is there a Mackel hiding behind every flower pot waiting to pounce? Because if not, then how can this not have been staged? Also how stupid does a TV reporter have to be to allow himself to be used in such a stunt? Moreover, can we expect to see a 10 PM report on every negotiation between candidates in every race this cycle? Because there are at least as many of those as there are candidates.
Sadly we only have two Mackels, though. And one of those is too busy imagining Pelicans trades that will never happen to focus on the imaginary political scandal beat at the same time.