Candidate for the 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Keith Stutes, said he was not aware of the bribery scandal that would soon plague the office until after the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed they were conducting an investigation, and he said that bribery scheme was the creation of current District Attorney Mike Harson.

"The DWI secret procedure that is the very foundation of the scandal itself was in fact Mr. Harson's secret procedure," Stutes said. "A procedure he created, a procedure he administered, a procedure he controlled, a procedure he authorized people to enter into--all done secretly."

Stutes said Harson's alleged lack of transparency has undermined the integrity of the office and the trust of the residents whom the office represents. That trust is important, Stutes said, because even though the vast majority of residents will have no contact with the district attorney's office, the office is designed to protect them "from the elements of dangers and criminals."

"The DWI secret procedure that is the very foundation of the scandal itself was in fact Mr. Harson's secret procedure," Stutes said. "A procedure he created, a procedure he administered, a procedure he controlled, a procedure he authorized people to enter into--all done secretly."

The office under Harson, who is now in his nineteenth year, became mired in controversy recently after it was discovered his Immediate 894 program, a program which allowed defendants to complete a certification process before sentencing and have their drunken driving charges and other crimes cleared faster, was being exploited by members of his office.

The FBI discovered several people within the district attorney's office accepted bribes in exchange for favorable outcomes on Immediate 894 pleas. The alleged mastermind of the scandal, Robert Williamson, is set to stand trial Oct. 20. Others have already been sentenced.

Harson apologized for and accepted the criticism for the scandal in a March 31 letter, but he maintained he knew nothing of the crisis.

Stutes said he immediately began his own investigation into the scandal after he was informed the FBI was investigating the office.

"I only learned of it on Sept. 28, 2012 because the FBI alerted me to it," Stutes said.

Stutes said he would reform the organizational hierarchy through the appointment of "executive assistant D.A.'s" in each parish of the district so that secret proceedings, such as those that took advantage of the Immediate 894 system, could not happen again

Stutes also challenged Harson to a public forum or debate so that questions surrounding the district attorney's office could be asked and answered.

Election day is Nov. 4.

To listen to the full interview with Stutes, click on the 'Play' button below.