Painter trial continues

Murphy Painter
Murphy Painter

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The trial against former ATC Commissioner Murphy Painter continued Thursday.

Painter is accused of illegally accessing federal and state law enforcement databases.

The trial started Wednesday, after opening arguments.  More witnesses were called Thursday, to testify about why they contacted Murphy Painter and in turn he conducted background checks.

Shelly Scott, who works for Louisiana State Police, was on the stand late into the afternoon.  She testified about how the databases are searched and how results are returned.  She told jurors a phrase that has been spoken over and over in this trial, that a criminal justice reason is needed to do a search.  She testified, "Curiosity inquires are prohibited."

One of the names Painter is accused of running is a Jonathan Bab, who lived in Shreveport.  Bab, according to testimony, was arrested in August 2010 on drug charges.  A woman who lived next door, Brandi Daigle, says she contacted Painter following the mans arrested because she was scared.  She said officers, dressed in black, surrounded her house while they were conducting the arrest of Bab.  Daigle says she knew Painter from her days working under Governor Foster, and was also involved in Painter getting the job at ATC.

Kam Le, the U.S. Attorney, questioned Daigle about what she expected Painter to tell her.

Daigle responded, "I don't know exactly.  Give me information to protect my family and kids."

Daigle says Painter told her that Bab did have some prior arrests.  However, she added, she did not know how Painter got the information.

Two other men testified they were trying to get permits to carry a concealed weapon.  They both asked Painter to check their records.

According to the head officer who worked the case in Shreveport, people ask all the time to have names run as personal favors.  But he testified, no officer does it.

"You can be fired," he said.

The trial will resume on Friday.