DA Stewart Fires Assistant in Claiborne – Newell Likely Opponent in ’14

The Haynesville (LA) News
Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Claiborne Parish Police Jury met in regular session Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

President Scott Davidson said, “For those who are not aware Danny Newell was recently fired by the district attorney because he indicated he would run for the DA position in the October 2014 election. Even though he has several big cases coming up the DA decided to fire him and bring in a new assistant DA from outside the parish.”

Attorneys Lea Hall and Kenny Haynes of Shreveport have been hired to replace Newell and former ADA Jim Colvin.

Davidson said that Newell has offered via of a letter to continue to represent the Jury at no charge until the beginning of the next DA’s term in 2015.

Davidson said, “Danny has represented the Jury for 16 years and he knows what our needs are and when you bring someone in from out of the parish they won’t have a clue what is going on. Danny felt like it was his obligation to continue representing us and we appreciate him for stepping up to the plate.”

In a unanimous decision the Police Jury will continue using the services of Newell for their legal matters.

The News has retained copies of letters between DA Jonathan Stewart and Newell concerning the above-mentioned termination.

Stewart asked for Newell’s resignation effective March 31st in a faxed letter on March 28th stating he has already hired Lea Hall to assume his position. Stewart asked Newell to meet with Hall to assist with the transition after his vacation.

Newell responded on March 29th, “My intent is and always has been to resign on or around January 2014 before any campaigning started. I have advised you of my intent to run on numerous occasions since October 2012. I do not feel it would be in the best interest of Claiborne Parish for me to resign at this time. I have spent hundreds of hours getting ready for several major felony criminal trials including the trial of Cameron Cockrell and Jermaine Johnson for aggravated rape on May 20th. I have a special setting for the Patishi Kirk murder trial on July 22nd; and I am in discussions to get a special setting for the second defendant in the Butch Bays murder trial-Hardy Taylor. I do not believe another attorney even with my assistance could be ready for these cases in the manner that I could and they must be tried now-time is running out.”

Newell concluded the March 29th letter by saying he could not with a clear conscience resign his position at this time and if Stewart did not want him to continue on his staff he would need to fire him.

In a letter on April 1st Stewart said, “In our last conversation I told you that, of course, you could not announce your intention to run against me and me pay you to work as an Assistant District Attorney. I think your announced intention to run and then stay on the District Attorney’s payroll until January 2014 is completely unrealistic. Please consider this letter as official notification that your last day of employment as a state warranted Assistant District Attorney for the Second Judicial District is Monday, April 1, 2013.”

Stewart concluded his April 1st letter saying that he would like for Newell to meet with Hall to discuss transition on his cases and they could certainly be ready to try Kirk on July 22nd, handle the special setting for the Taylor trial but may have to continue the Cockrell and Johnson trail set for May 20th.

Newell responded to his termination on April 8th. “My termination certainly is not in the best interests of the citizens of Claiborne Parish; victims, Butch Bays, Vincent Dunn and the rape victim; and the law enforcement officers who have investigated these crimes. Since I have a keen interest in seeing that justice is done for these victims I will assist my replacement in whatever way I can with these trials.”

Political ads paid for by Stewart, which ran in The Haynesville News in 2000 when he ran against current Judge Glenn Fallin for 2nd District Judge and in 2008 when he ran for his current DA position stated that he was still employed by the District Attorney’s office while campaigning and running for political office.

15 Responses to “DA Stewart Fires Assistant in Claiborne – Newell Likely Opponent in ’14”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t know why Stewart is upset with him. If Stewart does run again he won’t get all the support (votes) from Jackson parish like he did last time.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    This man really has a ego!!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Stewart is just like the Mayor. Neither one will get my vote.

  4. Grape vine Says:

    Well he sure want have support in Bienville parish neither !

  5. Anonymous Says:

    This is the best thing to happen to Newell. Stewart is helping Newell get elected. After Stewart has done this, I think alot of people will take a look at Newell.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Is the kin to the Judge Newell of Haynesville that used to be a district judge here?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Not to get off the subject but, thanks Mr Abbott for all the reporting. I’m glad to see the LPPJ look into the Lincoln parish fire district. I could only hope that the JPPJ would look into the fire districts in our parish. Especially the Jonesboro fire district. I hear they are going to cancel the contract they have with the town. Where is that $35000 plus or minus going to go to and how will the town pay that amount to the third fireman? Just wondering.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I guess if Leslie won’t buy that new pick-up for the fire dept. his so called fire chief is trying to get the fire district to cancel the contract with the town. ( that’ll show les who his friends are ha ha)

  9. Anonymous Says:

    My guess is that neither Leslie or the fire chief wants the contract canceled, there probably some other reasons such as noncompliance or inadequate operations. Just more of the same in good ole Jonesboro.

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  13. In New Bethany sex abuse case, incoming DA says he will review grand jury proceedings | Christian Reforms Says:

    […] in April 2013 after he indicated his intent to run for Stewart’s office, according to the Haynesville News. In 2014, both registered to run for district attorney, but Stewart soon withdrew from the race and […]

  14. Rape arrest in Caddo conflicts with Bienville Parish grand jury’s no true bill in New Bethany case nine months earlier | Louisiana Voice Says:

    […] In April of 2014, Stewart fired Assistant District Attorney Danny Newell after Newell announced he would run against his boss. Stewart subsequently withdrew from his re-election bid and Newell was elected district attorney. https://lincolnparishnewsonline.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/da-stewart-fires-assistant-in-claiborne-new… […]

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