Robert Frenzel of Texas, a man who works for the private investigation agency hired by David Vitter’s campaign for governor, was arrested this morning after allegedly recording a conversation between Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand and Louisiana State Sen. Danny Martiny at a coffee shop in Old Metairie. According to multiple sources, Sheriff Normand noticed Frenzel, 30, behaving suspiciously and asked if he was recording his conversation.
Frenzel then bolted from the restaurant and began running down the street, leaving his rental car behind in the parking lot. Police pursued Frenzel and then arrested and booked him into custody. Although the booking file does not yet indicate the charges against him, it is believed they involve, at the very least, trespassing and evading arrest. Normand recently told the media that Frenzel will be charged with a felony tomorrow.
Frenzel works for J.W. Bearden Investigative Agency, which has offices in both Dallas and New Orleans. According to records filed with the Louisiana Ethics Administration, David Vitter’s gubernatorial campaign has paid J.W. Bearden over $110,000 since February of this year. The Vitter campaign lists the expenses as legal fees, and although the company does have lawyers on staff, it is a private investigative agency registered in both Louisiana and Texas.
Frenzel is specifically listed as an employee of J.W. Bearden on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website. He registered as a private investigator in June of 2014.
Update 8:25PM: I received this anonymous e-mail two days ago. I didn’t think it made much sense, so I decided not to do anything with it. But I now have to wonder if this is a part of the story.