Archive for September, 2010

J’boro Mayor Thompson Vetoes 2010-11 Budget – Wiley’s Wife Appointed to District D by Board

09/29/2010

Controversial Town of Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson vetoed the town’s 2010-2011 budget that was adopted by the Board of Aldermen two weeks ago.

Thompson’s action was revealed today in a letter dated 9/24/10 at a noon meeting of the board called to appoint a replacement for suspended District D Alderman Terry Wiley.

In the letter Thompson says “the Board has over-stepped its authorized and legal boundary by submitting its own budget.”

The issue will likely come up again at the 10/12/10 alderman’s meeting.

Cassandra Wiley Appointed to Board of Aldermen

On a 4-0 vote, the board appointed Cassandra Wiley to the remainder of Terry Wiley’s term on the council.

See Terry Wiley’s letter to the board.

Per Louisiana Revised Statutes 42:1411 B,

The conviction for a felony of a public officer shall automatically suspend that individual from his public office without compensation. The suspension from public office without compensation shall continue until the conviction is final and all appellate review of the original trial court proceedings is exhausted. During the period of suspension, the public official shall not perform any official act, duty, or function nor shall he receive any compensation, pay, allowance, emolument, or privilege of his office. If the conviction is reversed on appeal, the public official shall be entitled to and shall receive full back pay with legal interest thereon from the date of suspension, compensation, and all rights, duties, powers, allowances, emoluments, and privileges of office to which he would have been entitled had he not been suspended.

Wiley was last week convicted of third offense driving while intoxicated, which is a felony. It is unknown if Wiley intends to appeal his conviction.

Wiley faces challenger Devin Flowers in this Saturday’s election for the District D seat.

LPPJ/Board of Review Upholds Assessments

09/29/2010

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ), acting as the parish’s Property Assessment Board of Review, last night upheld the assessments on two property accounts valued by Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor Pam Jones.

CDM Resources and Valerus Compression Services had appealed their assessments earlier this month. See the appeal letters here:

CDM Resources appeal
Valerus Compression Services appeal

Jones noted that CDM Resources had appealed for the past three years and took their case to the Louisiana Tax Commission, but that her assessments had been upheld every time. “The tax commission asked them for more documentation to verify these numbers, and they’ve never presented it,” said Jones.

Initially, Northern Louisiana Medical Center and Stallion Oilfield Services had appealed their assessments, but withdrew them prior to yesterday’s review meeting. See the appeals here:

Northern Louisiana Medical Center appeal
Stallion Oilfield Services appeal

See here the appeal withdrawals:

NLMC withdrawal
Stallion Svcs withdrawal

Pertinent Law on the Terry Wiley Issue

09/29/2010

Here is some pertinent law on the issue of Terry Wiley and his position on the Jonesboro Board of Aldermen.

RS 42:1411 Public officer; ground for removal; suspension; definitions

A. A public officer shall be removed from office for conviction, during his term of office, of a felony.

B. The conviction for a felony of a public officer shall automatically suspend that individual from his public office without compensation. The suspension from public office without compensation shall continue until the conviction is final and all appellate review of the original trial court proceedings is exhausted. During the period of suspension, the public official shall not perform any official act, duty, or function nor shall he receive any compensation, pay, allowance, emolument, or privilege of his office. If the conviction is reversed on appeal, the public official shall be entitled to and shall receive full back pay with legal interest thereon from the date of suspension, compensation, and all rights, duties, powers, allowances, emoluments, and privileges of office to which he would have been entitled had he not been suspended.

C. During this period of suspension, another person shall be appointed to perform the official acts, duties, and functions of that office during the period of suspension. Any person appointed to perform these official acts, duties, and functions shall serve in his appointed capacity until the conviction of the public official is reversed on appeal or until expiration of the term of office of the suspended public official, whichever occurs first. Every person appointed under the provisions of this Section shall receive the same pay, compensation, allowances, emoluments, and privileges of the office to which he is appointed as the suspended public official received prior to his suspension.

D. No person appointed under the provisions of this Section shall be eligible in the next election as a candidate for the office to which he is appointed, except as provided in R.S. 18:602(E)(1).

E. Except as provided in this Subsection, if any public official except the governor or lieutenant governor is suspended under the provisions of this Section, the governor shall appoint another person to perform the official acts, duties, and functions of that office during the period of suspension. If the public official suspended under the provisions of this Section is a statewide elected official, other than the governor or lieutenant governor, the first assistant appointed under the provisions of Art. IV, Section 13 of the Constitution of Louisiana shall serve in the position during the period of suspension. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Section, if the public official suspended is a member of the legislature, no other person shall be appointed under the provisions of this Section to perform any official act, duty, or function of the suspended legislator. If the public official is a member of a parish or municipal governing authority, or combination thereof, or a mayor or any other local or municipal office, except as provided in this Subsection, the governing authority of the local governmental subdivision where the vacancy occurs shall appoint a person to perform the official acts, duties, and functions of the person suspended. If the official suspended is a member of a city or parish school board, the remaining members of the school board shall appoint the person to perform the official acts, duties, and functions of the person suspended. If the person suspended is a district attorney, clerk of a district court, coroner, sheriff, or tax assessor, then his first assistant or deputy shall perform his official acts, duties and functions as provided in R.S. 18:602(C).

F. Any person appointed to perform the official acts, duties, and functions of a public official suspended under the provisions of this Section shall have the same qualifications required by law to hold the office as the public official under suspension and he shall post any bond as may be required by law for that office.

G. For purposes of this Chapter, the term “felony” includes both a felony under the laws of this state and a felony under the laws of the United States. For purposes of this Chapter, the term “public officer” means any person holding a public office, whether state, district, parochial, ward, or municipal, whether the person is elected or appointed except judges of the courts of record.

RS 42:1412. Method for removal

A. For conviction of a felony any public officer shall be removed by judgment of the district court of the district in which he is domiciled. The district attorney of that judicial district shall institute the suit within ten days after the conviction is final and all appellate review of the original trial court proceedings is exhausted. Suits against the attorney general shall be brought in the Nineteenth Judicial District by the district attorney of that district, and suits against a district attorney shall be brought by the attorney general.

B. An action instituted pursuant to R.S. 42:1411 and R.S. 42:1412 is civil in nature; shall be prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, except as otherwise provided in this Section; and shall be tried by preference over all other matters in a summary proceeding.

C. A hearing on the petition for removal shall be held not more than twenty days after service upon the public officer whose removal is sought. Judgment shall be rendered in the matter within ten days after the removal hearing. Within five days after the signing of the judgment, either party may appeal suspensively by obtaining an order of appeal and posting bond for a sum fixed by the court to secure the payment of costs. The trial judge shall fix the return day at a time not to exceed five days after the granting of the order of appeal. An application to the supreme court for a writ of certiorari may be made only within three days after the signing of judgment by the court of appeal. Each appellate court to which the action is brought shall place the matter on its preferential docket, shall hear it without delay, and shall render a decision within ten days after oral argument. The granting of an order of appeal or writ of certiorari suspends the effect of the judgment during the pendency of such proceedings.

D. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, an appeal of a felony conviction in a state court of a public officer shall be given preference over other criminal appeals.

St. Helena Update – “B” Word Mentioned

09/28/2010

The latest in the St. Helena Schools saga.

Bankruptcy option mulled

Lack of funds and crumbling buildings could force the St. Helena Parish School Board into bankruptcy proceedings in late 2012, a board consultant testified Monday in Baton Rouge federal court.

But a Louisiana Department of Education official testified continued deficit spending by the School Board may require the state to appoint a fiscal administrator to avoid such failure.

Wiley Replacement to be Considered at Meeting

09/28/2010

The Jonesboro Board Aldermen will meet in a special called meeting Wednesday, September 29 at City Hall, 128 Allen Avenue at 12 Noon to consider a replacement for Terry Wiley.

Here is the agenda.

Item six is listed thus:

Appointment of Alderman to the remaining term

However, to our knowledge, Alderman Terry Wiley has not resigned his office. Last week he was convicted of third offense driving while intoxicated. See the Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) news account.

LPNO will cover the Wednesday meeting.

Water Rates on Monroe City Council Agenda

09/27/2010

The Monroe City Council will meet in regular session, Tuesday, September 28 at 7:00 PM, Monroe City Hall. A pre-council work session will be held at 6:00 PM.

Here is the agenda.

We see that the controversial water rate issue is on the agenda again. Under section IX – Resolutions and Ordinances for second reading and final adoption:

(f) Finally adopt an Ordinance authorizing James E. Mayo, Mayor, to enter into a contract for a Water and Sewer Rate Study with Pioneer Rate Consultants and further providing with respect thereto.

LPPJ – Property Assessment Board of Review

09/27/2010

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet as the Property Assessment Board of Review Tuesday, September 28 at the Lincoln Parish court house, third floor, 5:00 PM.

Here is the agenda.

The jury does this once a year to review property assessments from companies that choose to appeal their tax bills.

This year, appealing their assessments are:

CDM Resources
Valerus Compression Services
Northern Louisiana Medical Center
Stallion Oilfield Services

Who is King Dawson?

09/27/2010

Just who is King Dawson, the man to whom Monroe City Judge candidate Jeff Joyce gave $5 thousand for ‘canvassing?’ At one time he was the District F representative on the Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ). And back in the late 90s and early 00’s, he was knee-deep in the problems that surrounded that agency.

See this 2/12/03 report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA).

Employees Perform Work at Juror’s House

At the direction of management, two Police Jury employees rented equipment and cleared a sewer line at Police Juror King Dawson’s residence while on Police Jury payroll and using Police Jury funds.

And there is this from the same audit.

Camel Road

At its January 31, 2000 meeting, the Police Jury approved paving 1,360 feet of Camel Road. In July 2000, the entire length of the road was paved by Public Works.

Visions Unlimited Land Development, L.L.C. (Visions Unlimited) purchased 179 acres of land that borders both sides of Camel Road on October 20, 1998. Mr. Leonard Tims, director of the Police Jury’s Louisiana Jobs Employment Training Program, stated that Visions Unlimited is an investment group between a group of friends. Mr. Tims further stated that he and his wife along with Mr. King Dawson, Police Juror, and his wife joined with others to purchase property, which included the property on Camel Road.

Minutes of the Police Jury’s January 31, 2000, meeting indicate that Mr. Dawson was present and voted to approve, among others, the paving of the portion of road on the private property owned by his investment group, Visions Unlimited.

According to Police Jury records, the cost to pave the additional 1,040 feet of Camel Road was $4,212.

And this, from 2007.

Police Jury agrees to pay Jones for defending Dawson

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury agreed Monday to pay most of the legal bills police juror King Dawson incurred in his defense against public corruption charges.

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office dropped charges against Dawson in December on grounds that there was a “lack of credible evidence.”

Dawson’s attorney, state Sen. Charles Jones, originally requested the parish pay $56,770.61. He charged Dawson $225 per hour to represent him.

Dawson was one of eight people indicted in 2003 by a Ouachita Parish grand jury. Dawson was charged with one count of malfeasance in office and one count of unauthorized use of a movable.

Those indictments lead to convictions of the seven others, including former police juror Daryll Berry and former public works director Bo Boyte.

And remember this item about Dawson’s church parking lot.

Louisiana Headlines

Jones also represents Police Juror King Dawson, whose trial date is July 18th. Dawson was indicted on charges of unauthorized use of a moveable and malfeasance in office.

The former charge says Dawson’s church at Gilbert received recycled asphalt pavement on its parking lot from stockpiles owned by the jury.

That’s who is King Dawson.

OPPJ Finance Committee Monday Evening

09/25/2010

The Finance Committee of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet Monday, September 27 at 6:00 PM on the second floor of the parish courthouse on South Grand Street. District A’s Charles Jackson will chair the meeting.

See the agenda here.

Among the budget items to be discussed are:

JPs and Constables in the General Fund
Registrar of Voters
Health Unit
Health Unit Capital Outlay
Green Oaks Operations Fund
Green Oaks 1996 Debt Service Fund
Green Oaks 1996 Construction Fund
Green Oaks 2006 Construction Fund
Animal Control
Administrative Fund
FEMA Buyout Property Maintenance Fund
Southeast Sewer District No. 3 Fund
Humphries / Garrett Road Sewer Maintenance
Health, Dental & Life Insurance for the year 2010 if time permits

Herbert, Sauber Report Finances

09/25/2010

Two candidates for Ruston’s mayor have posted their ‘ten days prior to election’ report documents on the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program website. Allen Herbert and Robert Sauber’s reports were posted overnight. The reports cover the period of 8/24/10 through 9/12/10.

Lincoln Parish News Online had reported on incumbent Dan Hollingsworth’s finances earlier this week.

See the Allen Herbert report.

Contributions: $1,650.00
Expenditures: $3,239.12

See the Robert Sauber report.

Contributions: $500.00
Expenditures: $661.00


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