LA Supreme Court Disqualifies Garriga from LPPJ Race


Chris “Moose” Garriga was today disqualified from his race for District Six of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ), The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled. The court’s action overrules a judgement last week by Louisiana’s Second Circuit Court of Appeal, which had upheld Garriga’s candidacy.

The Louisiana Board of Ethics (BOE) challenged Garriga’s candidacy, saying Garriga asserted on the notice of candidacy that he owed no outstanding fines, when in fact he did.

Garriga released this statement moments ago:

To the Citizens of Lincoln Parish:

I am very grateful for all of the support and prayers that my family and I have received over the past few months. We were certainly encouraged after we won the trial of this matter and even more encouraged after all of the five judges in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with us. Each time I had an opportunity to be heard, the court was able to see and hear the sincerity of my testimony. It was very disappointing to receive the ruling of the Louisiana State Supreme Court today.

The greatest thing that unfortunately now arises out of my disappointment is the support shown for me and my family over the past few months. I appreciate all of the sacrifices that my wife and children made for me to support my run for police jury. I am not leaving this campaign defeated, but rather with my head held high knowing that I did everything I could to represent myself and my family with the utmost honesty and integrity. Please keep me and my family in your prayers.

Chris “Moose” Garriga

As of post time, the State Supreme Court had not posted a written opinion on its website.

Lincoln Clerk Public Records Suit Settled, Records Released


The public records lawsuit Page v Cook was settled this morning in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston, after Lincoln Parish Clerk of Court Linda Cook agreed to release travel and conference records sought by plaintiff Ashley Page, who is also a candidate for the position held by Cook.

Appearing for Cook was Ruston attorney Mike Coyle, and presiding was Division A Judge Cynthia Woodard.

After conferring with Cook, Coyle told the judge that they had reached an amicable agreement, and Page acknowledged that if the records she sought were produced, the suit would be terminated.

Entered into evidence was correspondence between Coyle and Page.

See here the document.

As for the conference and travel records released, two instances are notable.

The LA Nuts & Bolts Fun Judicial Seminar is held in early June each year in Destin, FL area, and is billed as focusing on:

…practical issues facing courthouse folks on a daily basis. ALL Louisiana court officials are invited to attend this annual seminar to improve how we work together to serve the public.

Here is the 2015 agenda.

In 2014 and 2015, the event was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

Rather than stay at the hotel where the conference was held, it appears Cook rented condos for both years.

In 2014, two checks for $1,297 each were paid to what appears to be a rental agency in Cummings, GA. Noted on the check stub was “Beach Retreat 411.”

See here the documents.

For 2015, a check for $3,794 was paid to Condos on 30A, LLC, 115 Sunset Cove, Niceville, FL, and noted as “Lodging for Nuts & Bolts June 6 thru June 13, 2015.”

See here the documents.

Public Records Suit Hearing Moved to Thurs, 10/8, 9 AM


The hearing on the public records lawsuit Page v Cook has been moved to Thursday, October 8, 9:00 AM, Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court, Division A, Lincoln Parish Court House, second floor.

Originally, the hearing was set for next Monday.

Former State Rep Sumlin Arrested on Juvie Indencency


Sumlin pic_Page_1

A former State Representative from Lincoln Parish, William Sumlin, Jr, was arrested today and booked into the Lincoln Parish Detention Center.

Sumlin, 71, was arrested on a charge of Indecent Behavior with Juvenile(s).

See here the documents.

Sumlin was released on a bond of $25 thousand. He represented Louisiana House District 12 from 1983 to 1988.

HGA Recognized @ Ruston City Council

Hunt, Guillot & Associates receive Employer of the Month @ Ruston City Council - 10/5/2015

Hunt, Guillot & Associates receive Employer of the Month award @ Ruston City Council – 10/5/2015

Hunt, Guillot and Associates (HGA), a Ruston-based project management & engineering services company, was recognized at last night’s Board of Aldermen meeting as a major local employer.

Christi Lumpkin, Ruston’s Economic Development Administrator, noted that HGA employs 487 people nationwide with a $48 million payroll. The home office in Ruston employs three hundred with a $28 million payroll.

Said Lumpkin, “We are very thankful to have Hunt, Guillot and Associates here in Ruston – they’re a great community partner. And we’re proud and happy to have their headquarters right here in Ruston.”

In other business, the council approved an ordinance granting Centerpoint Energy the right to use city right-of-ways to provide natural gas service to businesses and residents.

See here the annotated ordinance.

The franchise fee levied by the city will be increased from 2% to 4% of the gross fees, and the contract is for a period of ten years.

Also, the council approved a resolution applying for state funding for several street and infrastructure improvements in the city. Public Works Director Darrell Carraway said the projects totaled about $40 million.

See here the list of projects applied for.

Hearing on Lincoln Clerk of Court Public Records Lawsuit set for 9 AM Monday, 10/12


A 9:00 AM, Monday, October 12 hearing has been set for arguments in a lawsuit asking for a Writ of Mandamus to compel production of records by Lincoln Parish Clerk of Court Linda Cook.

The suit was filed this morning in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court, Division A, Judge Cynthia Woodard presiding.

The suit was filed by Ruston attorney Ashley Page, who is also a candidate for Lincoln Parish Clerk of Court in the October 24 election.

See here Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus

See here Exhibits

Among other things, Page is requesting:

Any and all receipts, invoices, requests for reimbursement submitted by any and all employees (including the name of the employee) related to any and all travel, conventions certification, training, etc for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Page told Lincoln Parish News Online that for the year 2014, Cook’s budget for “Travel and other charges” was some $51,900.

See here the 2014 audit, page 16.

Pay Raise for Lincoln Parish School Board Members


A fifty percent ($400/month to $600/month) increase in the expense allowance for Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) members is on the agenda for the Tuesday, October 6 meeting of the board. The president receives an additional $100/month. Final action on the matter will be at the 10/21 meeting.

See here the memo.

Preceding the 6 PM meeting of the full board, the Building and Grounds Committee will meet at 5:30 PM.

See here the agendas.

Among the reports to be heard will be personnel actions.

See here the list.

Ouachita Police Jury Monday


The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) will meet Monday, October 5, 5:30 PM, Ouachita Parish Court House, second floor.

Here is the agenda.

Ruston City Council Monday


Ruston’s Board of Aldermen will meet Monday, October 5, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here is the agenda.

Ouachita Court Coverup Update – 10/1/15


AG records on law clerk under wraps (subscription required)

By Zach Parker

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office says it will not release documents sought by The Ouachita Citizen concerning the state’s representation of Fourth Judicial District Court law clerk Allyson Campbell who is being sued by a Monroe businessman.

The Attorney General’s office also exceeded the time frame allowed for the production of records without written notification after receiving a public records request nearly two weeks ago from The Ouachita Citizen.


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