His sudden downfall seemed all the more puzzling to him because he had been one of the main local power brokers in the city for years. He was elected five times to six-year terms, mostly without difficulty, and his support was eagerly sought by powerful politicians, black and white, in New Orleans.
Yet his approach to the district attorney’s office has become proverbial. Even before he began his weekly residency at the French Quarter club, emulating his son’s burgeoning international career, “Konick left the courtroom work to his assistants, a poorly paid, hard-to-manage group of mostly men, mostly white,” the reporter wrote. Jed Horne in “Desire Street” (2005), a book about the case of Curtis Kyles, whose 1984 murder conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1995 because Mr. Konik’s assistants withheld evidence.
“The office locked up mostly black people, mostly poor people, in ways that required them to hide evidence they were supposed to reveal,” Denise LeBoeuf, a New Orleans attorney, said in an interview. “It was under his supervision. That will always be on him.”
Joseph Harry Fowler Connick was born March 27, 1926, in Mobile, Ala., to James Connick, who was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Jessie (Fowler) Connick, a nurse. He grew up in New Orleans, where he attended parochial school.
After serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific in World War II, he returned to New Orleans to attend Loyola University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, and Tulane University, where he earned a law degree.