NEW ORLEANS — Harry Connick Sr., who was New Orleans’ district attorney for three decades, after which he faced allegations that his staff sometimes held back evidence, died Thursday at age 97.
Connick died peacefully at his home in New Orleans with his wife, Londa, and children — Suzanna and musician and actor Harry Connick Jr. — by his side, according to an obituary distributed by Harry Connick Jr.’s publicist. A cause of death was not provided.
Connick dethroned an incumbent prosecutor, Jim Garrison, in a 1973 election. He won reelection four times, a white politician who successfully built biracial support as the city’s political power base shifted to African Americans.
Connick remained undefeated, but in retirement he was dogged by questions about whether his office withheld evidence that favored defendants. The issue came to the forefront with a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a lawsuit filed by John Thompson, who was exonerated after 14 years on Louisiana’s death row for a killing he didn’t commit.