Political Corruption Elsewhere in Louisiana

Grace sentenced to 22 years

Former St. Gabriel Mayor George L. Grace Sr. was sentenced Monday to 22 years in federal prison for his March 3 conviction on seven charges that included racketeering, bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud.

“It is believed to be the longest public corruption prison sentence in the history of Louisiana,” U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. said in a statement after the hearing. “This historic sentence should send a loud and clear message that those engaged in public corruption will face severe punishment.”

Visiting U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr., of Shreveport, described Grace, 68, as the leader of a group of municipal officials in Port Allen, White Castle and New Roads. Those officials and Grace used their public offices for personal gain, the judge said during the hearing.

During a trial of more than six weeks, the 17-year mayor was portrayed by prosecutors and government witnesses as a public official who demanded bribes and kickbacks from people who sought his help to establish businesses in St. Gabriel.

Grace was prosecuted as a result of an FBI sting known as Operation Blighted Officials. The sting featured a fantasy company, Cifer 5000, that was promoted as a garbage-can cleaning service seeking municipal contracts in Louisiana.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey R. Amundson said Grace’s investigation reflected “a lifetime of corruption, not just a couple of years or a couple of transactions.”

Amundson added that many St. Gabriel residents either work for the municipality or have relatives who are municipal employees.

Others convicted in Operation Blighted Officials include former New Roads Mayor T.A. “Tommy” Nelson Jr., serving an 11-year prison term; former White Castle Mayor Maurice Brown, serving 10 years; and former Port Allen Mayor Derek Lewis, serving a 40-month prison term.

Former Port Allen Police Chief Frederick W. Smith was sent to prison for more than seven years. Former Port Allen Councilman Johnny Johnson was sent to a halfway house for six months and ordered to serve two years of probation.

Richard Chambers, former deputy commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Insurance, pleaded guilty last month to a charge that he used a telephone in aid of racketeering. Chambers is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

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45 Responses to “Political Corruption Elsewhere in Louisiana”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Is Jonesboro next?

    • Just Thinking out loud... Says:

      It would be a grand finale for what is playing out….it would have to be federal action….

  2. Frederick Rudolph Fudpucker Says:

    Corruption in Louisiana? You have to be kidding! We are the state of the Longs and the Edwards and the Jindals. Wait! That is corruption at its finest.

  3. Hmmmmm Says:

    If everyone were punished, it might make a difference. But people’s political agendas seem to get in the way I doing what is right. Well that and they are spineless to stand up to anyone. Cowards! If people cared anymore all these idiots would be voted out already.

  4. Angry_Taxpayer! Says:

    Illinois used to be the best thing Louisiana had going for it when it came to political corruption because their escapades kept media attention focused up there instead of on Louisiana! Illinois currently has two former governors in the pen serving time for corruption. The MSM seems to be giving Jindal a pass since he’s a media darling. It could be that journalists just don’t know how to investigate corruption anymore since they’ve become lazy carrying the Democrat Party’s water.

    • sunrisesunset Says:

      Since you mentioned Democrat Party, do we know how many of these named mayors are democrat.

      Just wondering! We already know Thompson is democrat and the mayor of Gibsland……whatever his name is………..is democrat. Oh, and the troubles at Grambling are done by democrats.

      • Harvey T. Says:

        Look at little closer at the party affiliations of those that could do something that choose to look the other way. You might just see a common link, with exception of the RHINOs, those that changed parties to get that vote….Republican in Name Only and there are two stellar examples of that-Buddy Caldwell and Rodney Alexander.

        • Angry_Taxpayer! Says:

          When it comes to Rodney Alexander, I have to disagree with you. Rodney was an extremely conservative Democrat who switched to Republican because he couldn’t stomach the things Nancy Pelosi wanted him to vote for like gay marriage, excessive spending, and other radical progressive liberal agenda points. Louisiana is an extremely conservative state and the radical progressive liberal agenda under Obama/Pelosi/Reid has killed allegiance to the Democrat Party in this state. I’m a TEA Party conservative who caucuses with the Republicans because I haven’t been able to stand the Democrat agenda myself. Rodney has always listened to his constituents and tried to help whenever possible. If anyone was upset with Rodney switching parties, they didn’t register at the polls because he has been reelected as a Republican by overwhelming majorities. He’s an honorable, Chrisitan, church-going family man who retains my support.

          • Harvey T. Says:

            Well that is what makes America so wonderful, you can have your opinion and I can have mine. So happy you can support him and his politica agenda, he switched parties to get the vote, plain and simple. There is very strong Democratic party and strong adherents to the Party in this State, that are not liberal so again we can disagree on that matter as well. His allegiance to one particular man in Jackson Parish who has milked the Federal Grant program for all he could get has sickened the many voters in Jackson Parish, namely the ones that have to drive by all the buildings that were purchased with those funds and see the condition of the buildings and know that their tax dollars are utilized to fund all those earmarks and sweet heart deals, yes, there will be people at the polls this time to show their opinion by that vote against him, will it upset his current seat, no, but it will send a stong message, enough is enough. As long as Ouachita Parish is part of his voter base, he will remain strong, the poor country folk in Jackson are sorta the after thought anyway. Glad you are a Tea Party conservative that caucuses with the Republicans, who as a matter of fact have quite a few problems of their own. If you are so close to him, ask him to turn off the earmarks and Federal Grants for his friend in Jackson Parish, it might help his approval rating with the Democrats he left behind and the people that have to live with his decisions to help fund the gravy train. I am a Libertarian for the record.

            • JustMe Says:

              I agree with you here. Unless he does something to restore my faith in him – he’s lost my vote! And I will talk to all I know to influence a negative vote for Rodney.

            • Angry_Taxpayer! Says:

              Well, show me a political party or cause that doesn’t have problems. I’ve never said Republicans are perfect – that’s why I’m a TEA Party member and even we have problems. I also don’t know of a perfect politician because they’re all human and we all have flaws. Yes, this is America and we are both free to disagree, which is the beauty of this country. I will say once again that Rodney switched parties over what he was being asked to support by Nancy Pelosi and not because of votes. You can believe what you want, after all this is America. Rodney has never made a secret out of supporting earmarks to get back as much money as Louisiana sends to DC. Have some unsavory characters benefited? Probably as many as have benefited from Democrat cronyism like Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, etc. I don’t support earmarks, and I believe the federal government needs to shrink considerably to become fiscally sustainable. If you’re so sick of Rodney, then run against him and put the word out on what you find objectionable in his tenure as Representative. If you won, you might just find the job to be harder than you imagined.

              • Harvey T. Says:

                I have to say your staunch support of Alexander is comendable, however, not all feel as you or condone someone that was elected a Democrat chaning parties just because as you have pointed out repeatedly, that Nancy Pelosi wanted him to vote a certain way. He was elected as a Democrat and served the Democratic party and held to those values, he was not elected to support Nancy Pelosi, you point of his turning to the Republican party because he could not support her is the exact same reason he won’t receive the votes of those that believe in being loyal to the people that elected him. He is there to represent the people that sent him there not to support John Boehner or run from Nancy Pelosi. Maye if he had stood up to her and joined the ones that did stand up to her, he may have found more strenght instead of turning and running away and changing coats. I don’t have any desire to run for office, I do have all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to vote, have a free voice and work to support and help get votes for those that represent my beliefs and values. I have served my fellow man for many years and in many roles, so I can take comfort in that fact alone. I will work for anyone that can make our Nation better and will stand up for those of us that care, he is not the candidate that I support but I truly support your right to support him.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    They must not have a D.A. like the one in Jackson Parish

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Some of our bloggers have stated that they do not intend to vote for Rodney Alexander as representative in the next election. Suppose he is unopposed, or someone runs against him that they think may do things worse than they accuse him doing? Supplose Leslie Thompson decides to give up the mayor’s job (or has it stripped away) and runs against him? I don’t see how anybody can say how they will vote unless they know who is running against him.

    • JustMe Says:

      Why yes you are right.

    • Brandon Says:

      Perhaps people will vote for anyone other than the one that currently holds the office, that’s what a vote is, a personal choice.
      If Thompson’s job is “stripped” away, if it’s done by the judicial process, he won’t be eligible to run for anything, ever again, which would be such a wonderful thing.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t give him any ideas.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t need to. He ran for state representative before, and got beat pretty bad. You can bet he has his eye on something more than the Mayor of Jonesboro.

    • dreamer Says:

      One may need to refocus on the job at hand, and if the people in authority would do their job, he could refocus on the graybar hotel, but that’s just a dream in the hearts of those that obey the law and work for a living and most of all pay their mandatory indebtedness aka taxes.

  9. Watching the Justice System Says:

    Here is another prime example of politcal favors gone wild: 8/23/2012 Roderick Bradford 1/06/1966 Molestation of Juvenile
    Probation Warrant $18,000
    $2,000

    Good ole boys make good ole deals and guess where it got them—-how many helped with the last episode? Who prosecuted the last episode, who made the deals ? Guess when they have one in their family abused it might wake them up.

    • anon Says:

      Wasn’t he a teacher at Jonesboro Hodge when he was arrested the first time?

      • sunrisesunset Says:

        Isn’t he (Roddy) boy James Bradford’s son? If so, political clout gone amuck.

        I think Roderick Bradford was employed at the mill at some point…….not sure if it was before he worked in the school system or after.

    • Just Says:

      Well, most of the time when a person “gets away” with a crime, they tend to repeat the offense.

      Whoever helped to get Mr. Bradford out of trouble the first time needs to be ashamed. The second victim might have been protected from harm had the law been upheld.

      Perhaps the “powers that be” will decide to not help hide his “problem” that gets him in trouble with the law.

      Perhaps Mr. Bradford’s parents will exercise tough love with their son and insist he get some help for his “problem” and not use their contacts to make his “problem” go away…..it did not work!!!

      I do not know what his problem is but to be arrested twice make it sure look like he has a problem.

      • Vernon Says:

        Call your local District Attorney and ask him what went wrong, if it was prosecuted in your parish, he should hold all the answers, except the sentencing aspect…that is the sitting judge…..sure sets a poor example, but what else is new in your town?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    MAYOR YOU NEED TO READ THE ABOVE. YOU MIGHT BE JOINING HIM.

  11. Angry_Taxpayer! Says:

    Harvey T.: In your last response, you seem to be saying that a person should never decide to change directions in life because the group they are following has strayed from their original principles. You seem to feel that loyalty to the group trumps anything the group decides to do. I respectfully disagree. Rodney didn’t change parties to suddenly start supporting John Boehner. Rather, Boehner and the Republicans weren’t asking Rodney to support things like gay marriage that violated his religious convictions or those of his constituents. You are correct in stating the he is there to represent his constituents in the 5th district. This is an extremely conservative district where things like gay marriage are still frowned upon. By refusing to support Nancy Pelosi’s radical progressive liberal agenda, Rodney is representing his constituents and their values. I would guess that you are a Democrat who resents Rodney switching parties and feels betrayed. But, you know what? The Democrat Party left us Southern conservatives when it embraced the radical progressive liberal agenda of gay marriage, big government entitlements, unlimited abortion on demand, sympathy for criminals, and a weak America abroad. Sometimes a person has to look at the crowd they’re running with and decide that they no longer share the values of that crowd and that they need to find a new group to run with that more closely resembles their way of thinking. Rodney did just that, and he’s been reelected by his constituents who recognized that the Democrat Party was no longer their party. And one more thing – I never questioned your patriotism or loyalty to America, and you certainly have a right to speak your mind and hold whatever opinions you wish. That’s the beauty of America. Loyalty is a fine quality, but it can be taken to the extreme and cause one to support things the group wants that you may not agree with. As for standing up to Pelosi, that hasn’t worked out too well for other Democrats like Bart Stupak in Michigan now, has it? Rodney DID stand up to Nancy Pelosi by refusing to stand with her. Instead, he became a Republican – the party of conservatives.

    • Harvey T. Says:

      I respectfully disagree with your assumption that I am a Democrat that feels betrayed. I don’t resent anything he does, I just observe the actions that are taken by politicians and I do heartily agree with you regarding the gay marriage issue along with the fact that the 5 th District is comprised of working class folks that pay their way, they pay their taxes and they observe the same traditional Christian values and morals, however, they get sick of earmarks that are composed of their hard earned money being handed out en mass to people that flaunt the fact that they know him, he is their key to the money and then they turn around and abuse those monies by improving only their wallet, instead of the intended purpose of community enrichment. I never got personal with you or made any personal assumptions, but as we all well know, that’s the traditional method by which some people react instead of participation in an adult debate. You are free to assume what you like, you are free to support him and defend him, but as I said earlier, there those that did support him, they belived in him, but his actions with earmarks reserved for all the pet projects and certain individuals have hampered and will continue to contribute to hard working middle class taxpayers looking for a candidate that represents their values, not the people that have their hand out and want to make a living off their tax dollars via the Federal Grant system. It still amazes many people including myself how convenient it is to change parties at the last moment and then blame the left wing liberals who up unto the last moment has been the most wonderful thing to happen in the Democratic world. I am a Libertarian, I told you that earlier, I guess you missed that statement in your zeal to defend Alexander. I still support your right to defend him, vote for him, support him and I will still disagree with your talking points about him. If he were as dedicated to ALL his constituents as you are defending him, he would really be a great politician, but since he finds the exit route and jumps parties, I can’t say he is as good as you are at what you do. May you have the outcome in the next election that you desire, but please know there are still some folks that don’t agree with you or him and will show that in the next election via their vote.

    • Jeff-Winn Says:

      Angry Taxpayer: I want to ask you a question, in an earlier story on this blog the information about the “earmarks” was provided for the public. I live in Winnfield but subscribe to the Jackson Independent newspaper and in that newspaper the same gent that was named as the recipient of the money wrote a rather lengthy diatribe about Pharaoh and the fact that he was very upset that Jonesboro wouldn’t just turn away from the law and let the liquor be sold. My question to you since you appear to know Mr. Alexander so well, do you think he condones the liquor issue, you know you do keep repeating about his Christian values, does he support the man that he provided so much Federal Grant money for and his declaration that the town is held by Pharaoh because he can’t have liquor? Please let the public know about that issue, as that too has an impact on voters. You can’t have it both ways Mr. Angry Taxpayer either he believes in the man that he provided the money for and all his pet projects or he doesn’t and was working for the black vote on those deals. Is he going to keep sending money back to that town for his use? Tell us what you think on that issue.

      • Angry_Taxpayer! Says:

        I found your comment hard to read and your meaning unclear, but I assume Pharaoh is Leslie Thompson. I live in Lincoln Parish, so I couldn’t care less what happens in Jonesboro or Jackson Parish. Fortunately, we don’t have the problem of Leslie Thompson. He’s your problem and you all will have to solve it. I have no knowledge about any earmarks to Jonesboro, and the only thing I know about liquor sales down there is what I’ve read on this website, so I don’t really have a comment on that. If you wish to know how Rodney feels about liquor sales, then ask him as I can only speak for myself. There are many things in which I choose not to participate, but I have no problem with someone taking a drink. As a Christian, it’s not my place to judge others. We tried prohibition and it failed.

        Harvey T.: My apologies for impugning your honor by assuming you are a Democrat. I failed to notice your admission of being a libertarian. This is America and you’re free to support whomever you wish, and it is obvious that nothing I say will change your mind, so carry on.

        I originally commented on corruption in Louisiana, but I’ve allowed myself to be drawn into this inane discussion about Rodney Alexander. Rodney Alexander is able to defend himself. I also live in his district and I have no problem with his representation. I can’t speak to what he has supported in Jonesboro, but as I have stated numerous times, I’m against earmarks, I’m for shrinking the size of government, and I’m for eliminating public-sector unions whose bloated benefits have strained taxpayers to the breaking point while they whistle along without a care in the world. So, you guys vote for whomever in the hell you wish, and I’ll do the same.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Alexander ran for office as a democrar, therefore he got the all important black vote. Then when it was politically correct he swaped parties. Just check the party affiliations of our elected officals, most if not all are Democrats, to get the black vote.

  12. Jeff-Winn Says:

    Fifth District Congressman Rodney Alexander sponsored “earmarks” of nearly $1 million for the Greater North Louisiana Community Development Corporation (GNLCDC), a 501(c)3 charity closely allied with the Town of Jonesboro’s controversial mayor Leslie Thompson. This is pharaoh.

    • Just Thinking out loud... Says:

      I think the pharaoh as referred to in the Jackson Independent in the letter by Dr. Simmons are any white folks with money.

      The letter did not state who exactly pharaoh is but I do not think it is the Simmons dear friend Leslie Thompson.

      I can not believe it is the government who funnels free money to them.

      I think it is a belief that money controls “his people”….thus who has the money, has the control.

      This is based on my reading the letter in the newspaper only.

      • Nelson W. Says:

        I think the only Pharaohs in Jackson Parish are Simmons et ux.
        If you only knew how much money they have received via the Federal and State Grant funding earmark/handout system
        and just what proportionate amount has been utilized for the good of (all) the people, that in itself constitutes a Pharaoh-like mentality. I cannot believe he quotes a prayer by a woman that has a church in town but then whines because he can’t sell his booze, is that a contradiction or does that church support the booze too? Sounds hypocritical to me, but that might just match the definition of Pharaoh too.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Here, here, what’s with all this civil discourse?

  14. Ed Webb Says:

    The saying,”as a christians we are not to judge others”. sorry but think you just judged Rodney Alexander. I consider myself a Christian but have to make judgements on people almost every day. Allthough I do not judge if they are going to heaven or hell,that’s the Lords work.

    • Angry_Taxpayer! Says:

      The context of that comment was directed towards passing a negative judgment on people who drink and had nothing to do with Rodney Alexander. Yes, we are to evaluate situations and make judgements as to whether we should participate, but we are not to assume God’s role in judging others or assume how God would judge another according to His laws. In assessing Rodney’s representation of the 5th district, I’m not condemning him to a fiery judgement for eternity, but merely by my expectations of good representation. I agree with you that we are to make judgements, but we are not to make judgements in God’s place.

      • Jeff-Winn Says:

        Who passed judgement on anyone that drank? The question was posed as to whether or not the support of the man that ranted about not having his way and selling liquor in the Town of Jonesboro and was the recipient of earmarks by Alexander would fit the Christian model that you so strongly asserted that Alexander adhered to , no ever passed judgement, just asked the question.

        • Angry_Taxpayer! Says:

          As I stated before, your comment was not well written and your logic was difficult to follow.

  15. sunrisesunset Says:

    A question to pharoah Simmons:

    Will you please reveal on this site exactly how much money in FEDERAL FUNDING, sent by Rep. R. Alexander, that you have received in totus over the last several years? We know that it is an amassed fortune. So, give us the exact $’s, please.

    Then, will you reveal just how much of this amassed fortune you have actually spent ON YOUR PROJECTS.

    Are you up to the challenge, or do all the bloggers have to request that you publish this info. in the Jackson Independent? We would like to have this info. broken down and revealed in plain view for all to see.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Does any of this money come from our state tax dollars?

  17. sunrisesunset Says:

    Simmons:

    You have not honored our request. Give us the total money you received from Fed. funds and the total you have ACTUALLY spent.

    Are you a coward?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Sunrisesunset:

      You too coward to show up and ask Dr. Simmons face to face for this information?

      • sunrisesunset Says:

        Hey Simmons: I know you are this “anonymous”. So, since I know who you are, why don’t you tell all the bloggers……along with what I have requested above………that you and your missus are about to embark on building a big ol’ mansion right on Dogwood Dr. Using some of the Fed. Funding Grant money?

    • anon 22 Says:

      Suni, you will get a two page answer in the jackson independent on how lpno provides the outlet for pharaohish comments about the Greater Federal Earmark Tax-dollar Giveway Plan. You could go ask in person, but why waste your valuable time on more rhetoric?

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