There was a flurry of activity in Jonesboro today, including the arrest of former mayor Leslie Thompson, a “swearing in” of Thompson’s wife Yoshi as acting mayor, a lock-down of the W. Richard Zuber City Hall, and a contempt motion filed against the town’s newly installed Fiscal Administrator Kenneth Folden.
Late yesterday afternoon, an order was signed by Second Judicial (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson Parishes) District Division A Judge Jenifer Clason revoking Thompson’s bond and ordering his immediate arrest.
See here the document.
Thompson, found guilty last week on three counts of malfeasance, was free on $15 thousand bond until an 11/13 sentencing hearing.
It is alleged in the motion by Assistant District Attorney Lea Hall that remarks by Thompson at Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting constitute usurpation of a public office, LA RS 42:71
Any person who assumes or pretends to be a public officer without the authority of an election, or without the authority of a commission from the governor when a commission is required; or who has been duly addressed out of an office that he held, in the manner provided by Article IX, Section 3, of the Constitution of Louisiana, or who has been removed from such an office by impeachment or recall, is a usurper.
Any usurper who attempts to exercise the functions of a public officer or office, and who interferes with any public officer in the discharge of his duties; or refuses to vacate an office, after having been removed therefrom in the manner provided by Article IX, Section 3, of the Constitution of Louisiana, or by impeachment or recall, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
Each day’s action by a usurper shall constitute a separate offense.
Also, Hall alleges that the actions of Aldermen Devin Flowers, Charla Mason-Thompson, and LaStevic Cottonham constitutes recognition of a usurper, LA RS 42:72
Any public officer who gives adhesion to, or in any manner recognizes the authority of any usurper as contemplated by R.S. 42:71, forfeits his office.
Further, Hall says if this activity to persist, it could result in the town not having a functioning city council, and might constitute an imminent danger to the town.
After the order was signed, attempts by Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) deputies to locate Thompson were unsuccessful late yesterday.
However, Thompson was seen at the “swearing in ceremony” at W. Richard Zuber City Hall about 10:00 AM this morning. He was taken in to custody without incident at that time by JPSO deputies.
The “swearing-in” event was an oath of office for Yoshi Thompson, reportedly administered by Monroe City Court Judge Tammy Lee, who had driven over from Monroe for the “ceremony.” She was escorted by a deputy Monroe City Marshall, the sources told Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO).
During that event, Jonesboro’s city hall was placed on lock-down for about 30 minutes because the town employees feared for their safety, according to Jonesboro Chief of Police Wesly Horton. A handful of spectators were dispersed after the event.
Finally, late this morning, Thompson attorneys Louis Scott and Carol Powell-Lexing filed a motion for contempt against town Fiscal Administrator Kenneth Folden.
The motion was filed under the original lawsuit that provided for appointment of a fiscal administrator. It alleges that Folden interfered with the operation of the town’s board of aldermen and that he has operated beyond his scope of authority.
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