Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Louisiana: Lafayette City Marshall recall attempt fails; Lead petitioner jailed for bad checks from 1997

The recall attempt against City Marshall Brian Pope failed. Petitioners needed 27400 signatures and claimed they were missing 3800, though it sounds like they didn't hand any in. At the same time, Pope appears to have arrested one of the recall organizers, Steven Wilkerson, over a 20-year old warrant for bouncing less than $200 in bad checks in 1997 (the offense has a two year statute of limitations).

Pope is facing seven perjury and malfeasance charges with a trial set for February 20. Pope is alleged to have used public resources to support his candidate in the 2015 Lafayette Parish Sheriff Election (the candidate lost).

Pope also paid himself with court fees -- receiving $120,000 last year (on top of his $75,000 salary).  He apparently sought the opinion of the Attorney General's office on the fee dispute, but did not respond to the AG's office's attempt to contact him.

Wilkerson noted that he had been through multiple background checks (he is an army veteran and a law enforcement official) and the bad checks never came up.

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