P.I. Connected To Sen. Vitter’s Campaign Arrested After Trying To Record Sheriff Who Endorsed Rival

October 24, 2015 9:55 a.m.

A Dallas private investigator was arrested Friday after Jefferson Parish, La., Sheriff Newell Normand (pictured) said he caught the man recording his breakfast conversation in a coffee shop, according to multiple local reports.

The P.I., Robert J. Frenzel, ran away when Normand confronted him, according to a report from WVUE. Normand told the television station that he believes Frenzel was spying on him on behalf of U.S. Sen. David Vitter (a gubernatorial candidate) because Normand endorsed a different candidate (Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne).

NOLA.com reported Frenzel works for the J.W. Bearden and Associated, an investigative agency in Dallas, which Vitter’s campaign paid more than $130,000 in legal fees in 2015.

Today (Saturday) is election day in Louisiana.

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Vitter is one of nine candidates looking to replace Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has to step down because of term limits. The top two candidates will face-off in a Nov. 21 runoff election.

Vitter’s campaign gave a statement to NOLA.com: “This person (Frenzel) works for a firm that we hired to do research, all within the bounds of the law. This includes John Bel Edwards’ business associate and major donor, and his relationship with the John Bel Edwards campaign. It has nothing to do with Newell Normand.”

John Bel Edwards is a democratic state representative who is also running for governor. The Advocate wrote in their 2015 election guide that Edwards, Vitter, Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle have the most well-funded campaigns.

Dardenne told NOLA.com that Vitter has “been caught cheating, lying and now spying. Voters have seen enough from David Vitter to know two things that he is corrupt and can’t be elected in a runoff.”

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