Franks ‘Appointed’ to LPPJ after Much Discussion

Prior to his ‘appointment’ as a Lincoln Parish Police Juror from District Three, much of the discussion at last night’s meeting was about Marvin Franks’ candidacy last fall and whether or not he should have run in the first place.

Jury attorney Lewis Jones, who is also an Assistant District Attorney for the Third Judicial District, explained the federal government’s Hatch Act, its pertinence to Franks’ candidacy, and his eligibility to serve.

Said Lewis Jones, “If he violated the Hatch Act, it was by running for office, it was not by winning, it was not by being sworn in after he won. What I have been told by the Office of Special Counsel, if there was a violation, it was by running. If a complaint is filed, and they’re trying to decide what action to take, the fact that he did not ask to be sworn in, would mitigate in his favor. The fact that he is asking to be appointed would be an aggravating factor. He’s asking y’all to appoint to appoint him to an office that, according to what they told him, he shouldn’t have run for.”

He continued, “They can’t remove him from the police jury. They can take action against him and his retirement and his service with the (Army National) Guard. Once you appoint him, he’s in.”

About two dozen supporters of Franks were at the meeting, and through spokesman Lucius McGee, voiced their support for him.

Said McGee, “The voters spoke. The voters spoke a second time and put him in this position. One person, a bureaucrat in Washington DC decided that he could not serve. That same bureaucrat says he can be appointed to it. We all know that doesn’t make a bit of sense. But that’s the way the law’s written.”

Countered Simsboro resident Keith Canterbury “This thing has been missed up from the very beginning. He shouldn’t have been on the ballot to begin with. We should have some say so, whose going to be appointed, other than the jury appointing somebody.”

It appears that the Office of Special Counsel has said such an appointment is legal. A series of emails between Franks and that office that took place in late January, and the discussion went thus:

From: Franks, Marvin L Jr CW4 USARMY NG LAARNG (USA)
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2020 5:01 PM
To: Hamrick, Erica
Subject: RE: [Non-DoD Source] Hatch Act
Dear Erica Hamrick,

This is an update on my status. On January 13, 2020, when the Lincoln Parish Police Jurors were sworn in, I did not accept the position to which I was elected. According to Louisiana law, I have 30 days after this date to accept the position. My medical discharge from the Louisiana National Guard is in the final stages – I am told by my PEBLO (case manager) that it will be complete in 30 days or less. If my discharge is not complete by the deadline of February 12, I will not accept the police jury position. At that time the seat is then considered vacant and the police jury has 20 days to appoint someone to the position and they must later hold a special election within 12 months. Since according to the law, federal employees are allowed to be appointed to positions, I am asking for your confirmation that I am allowed to be appointed to the police jury position after it becomes vacant.

Thank you,
Marvin Franks

From: Hamrick, Erica
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2020 6:39 AM
To: Franks, Marvin L Jr
Subject: RE: [Non-DoD Source] Hatch Act
Mr. Franks,

Based on the circumstances you describe below, OSC has concluded that it would not be problematic for you to be appointed to the vacant police juror position.

Erica S. Hamrick
Deputy Chief, Hatch Act Unit
U.S. Office of Special Counsel

As the discussion among the jurors went around the table, it was mostly agreed that the voters had spoken and that Franks should be appointed.

Typical of the comments was that from District Six’s Glenn Scriber, who said, “The people voiced their opinion, and it’s been cleared up that its legal what we’re doing.”

The only no vote was from District Four’s T. J. Cranford, who said he had supported Franks throughout the controversy, but didn’t agree with how the issue was being handled.

The vote to appoint Franks was 9-1-1, with Cranford voting no, and District One’s Theresa Wyatt abstaining. She noted, “I also heard (the discussion) that he won, but that he shouldn’t have run in the first place.”

The jury then voted to call a special election for November 3, the winner of which will serve out the remainder of the term through 12/31/23.

A letter from the Louisiana Secretary of State dated February 13 deemed that “by operation of law,” the District Three slot was vacant.

See here that letter.

In other business, the jury voted to declare a 9300 square foot tract of property near the Lincoln Parish Library as surplus so that bids could be entertained. An appraisal set a minimum bid of $185 thousand for that tract.

QuikTrip Corp. has expressed an interest in the property.

Also, a special called meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, 6:00 PM to interview applicants for the registrar of voters position.

13 Responses to “Franks ‘Appointed’ to LPPJ after Much Discussion”

  1. WhatIf Says:

    Question I have is: what will the election cost taxpayers?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Should be minimal as it will also be the Presidential Election on the same day.

  3. Never been published Says:

    Reading this is like reading Jerry springer. Got any news to report, Walt? How bout reporting on the progress that Ruston mayor is doing moving that city of yours forward? Oh I forgot, you hate that Ruston mayor bc he fired your boy Emmett for being lazy. Call union parish school board and ask how he did up there

  4. Anonymous Says:

    UP had their own problems before they hired Emmett.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe you should report on Walker’s promotion of HBO documentary on drag queens. I believe Mayor welcomed them saying Ruston is an open-minded community. Wonder what our church folks think about that? Sad commentary! What has happened to our conservative city?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Ruston pastor don’t care. They have bought into Walker’s dream. Inclusive bring it on.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    And that’s a sad sad commentary.

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