Nathan Stubbs

Edwards to receive presidential pardon?

by Nathan Stubbs

Louisiana’s only four-term governor, Edwin Edwards, is feeling fairly confident about his chances of receiving a pardon this month from outgoing President George W. Bush. That’s according to Grendel Levy, a former news reporter and producer who befriended Edwards during his trial and recently visited the former governor in prison. Levy sat down with Edwards for three hours on Sunday at Oakdale Federal Prison. She has since provided details of her exclusive interview with the governor on her Web site, , and in a Monday interview with political talk show host Jeff Crouere of WGSO-Am in New Orleans. In a subsequent interview with The Advocate , Levy described how Edwards told her about former President George H.W. Bush supporting his request for a pardon.

“I said’I heard that “41 was in your favor,” Levy said.
“(Edwards) replied, ‘Yeah, I have spoken to (fromer President Bush) and he said he’s personally gone to his son and personally requested that I receive a (commutation).”

Levy writes on her Web site that Edwards was “alternately positive and then a bit cynical regarding his pardon by President Bush.” She notes the former governor would say “‘Next month when I get out….’ And then a few minutes later, he’d mention that one day he’d get out.’”Levy also relayed that Edwards is apparently preparing for life after prison. He knows exactly what kind of car he plans to get upon his release, and has even picked out a cell phone provider.

Edwards is six years into a 10-year federal prison sentence. He was convicted in 2001 on racketeering charges involving riverboat casino licenses. Edwards is one of several public figures making a plea to President Bush for a pardon before he leaves the White House. Thus far, President Bush has granted 171 pardons in his two terms as president. He is expected to issue two more rounds of pardons before Christmas.