New Police Juror Marvin Franks Still not Sworn In

Newly elected Lincoln Parish Police Juror Marvin Franks (District Three) has still not taken his Oath of Office. He was not at last night’s special called meeting of the jury, nor did he attend at last week’s inaugural meeting of the new jury where all the members take their oaths.

Franks defeated incumbent Bobby Bennett and Nicky McCullin in last year’s elections.

Assistant District Attorney Lewis Jones, who serves as legal advisor to the jury, said that Franks was issued his Commission of Office dated 1/13/20 and has 30 days from that date to take his oath.

Said Jones, “At this point he has not asked to take his Oath of Office. I believe there’s some issues with the National Guard that he is trying to get straightened out. Right now it’s in Mr. Frank’s court. If if he does not ask to be sworn in to take his oath within 30 days of January 13, the seat will be declared to be vacant.”

Asked about the nature of of National Guard issues, Jones said he wasn’t fully aware of what they were.

District Twelve’s Annette Straughter said, “Mr. Franks spoke to me before the meeting. He is planning to do that. He just has a few more loose ends to tie. But does plan to be a police juror.”

Parish Administrator Courtney Hall said that if the office is vacant, then the jury will have twenty days to appoint a temporary juror until a election can be held. He said that election could be deferred until a state-wide election is held, so as to not incur extra costs.

Sources have told Lincoln Parish News Online that Franks’ issue could involve a violation of rules similar to the Hatch Act, which prohibits some political activities for federal employees.

Department of Defense employees, including active duty military, are covered by DoD Directive 1344.10 which apparently prohibits seeking:

4.2.1.2. A civil office in a State; the District of Columbia; a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States; or any political subdivision thereof.

4.2.2. A regular member, or a retired regular or Reserve Component member on active duty under a call or order to active duty for more than 270 days, may not be a nominee or candidate for the offices described in subparagraph 4.2.1., except when the Secretary concerned grants permission.

Franks is a Warrant Officer in the National Guard, is considered active duty, and might fall under that prohibition.

The jury also had a 1 1/2 hour review of budgeting, revenues, procedures, and expenditures. We will have additional reporting later.

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