Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Ouachita Court Coverup Update

08/17/2016

AUDIO RECORDING: Law clerk says time sheets were an ‘estimate’

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court in Monroe, who was accused of payroll fraud and concealing or destroying court documents, told state investigators her time sheets were “more of an estimate” than a record of hours worked, according to an audio recording of that interview obtained by The Ouachita Citizen.

During their questioning of Campbell, investigators with the state Office of Inspector General and with Louisiana State Police appeared to suggest answers and possible explanations for Campbell’s activities, which came under scrutiny amid complaints and ongoing lawsuits against her and the court’s judges.

The law clerk’s and investigators’ collaborative explanations were recorded in a Jan. 28, 2016 interview between Inspector General Investigator Heath Humble and State Police Investigator Ron Huey with Campbell at the law office of her attorney, Brian Crawford of Monroe, who also was present during the interview.

An audio recording of the interview is available online at http://www.ouachitacitizen.com where the recording displays at the bottom of the article.

Judge Denys Palowski Motion; 2nd Circuit Cancels Hearing

08/07/2016

Natchitoches ad hoc Judge Dee Hawthorne Friday afternoon denied a plaintiff motion to add a defense attorney to the civil suit Palowski v Cork, a business dispute first filed in 2013. The hearing took place in Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court in Monroe.

Palowski wanted to make Brandon Cork’s attorney Thomas Hayes a defendant, because, according to plaintiff attorney Joe Ward, Hayes counseled Cork on his alleged fraud against Palowski.

Hawthorne didn’t buy the argument, ruling that the suit might set a precedent that could chill a client’s ability to work with their attorney.

Hawthorne also noted that Palowski had sued Hayes individually, so it wasn’t necessary to add him as a defendant in this suit.

Ward, on behalf of the plaintiff, alleged that Cork took kickbacks from customers and concealed the payments from his business partner, Palowski, and that Hayes was a co-conspirator.

Hayes countered that the plaintiff was trying to “drive a wedge between the lawyer and his client,” in an attempt to confuse the issue.

Opening of court was delayed about twenty minutes, by a problem finding someone from the Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court’s office to tape record the session, and take notes for the record.

2nd Circuit Appeals Court Mysteriously Cancels Hearing

In other related developments, the Louisiana Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in Shreveport cancelled a hearing scheduled for Monday morning, August 8, according to Chief Deputy Clerk Debbie Ware. No explanation was given for the cancellation, nor was any future hearing date revealed.

See here the docket.

The hearing was for oral arguments on appeal of Palowski v Campbell, et al. The plaintiff, Stanley Palowski, alleges that Campbell destroyed court documents in the original civil case (Palowski v Cork), preventing a fair hearing, and the defendant judges covered up the wrongdoing.

Last year, ad hoc Judge Jerome Barberra dismissed the suit, and Palowski appealed.

In his ruling, Barberra claimed that judges enjoy “absolute judicial immunity.” In other words, they cannot be sued, even if they broke the law.

Ouachita Parish Court Coverup Update

08/03/2016

State Police report released: Findings shed light on law clerk probe

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com – Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Work attendance violations and time sheet discrepancies involving Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court, resulted in a written warning, a reprimand, a demotion, a month-long suspension without pay, an auditor’s finding and an investigation for official misconduct.

Those discoveries surfaced in a Louisiana State Police report of an investigation of Campbell over allegations of payroll fraud and document destruction. The Ouachita Citizen obtained the State Police investigative report last week through a public records request submitted to state Attorney General Jeff Landry. Landry’s office recently closed the investigation into allegations against Campbell.

Investigators delve into missing document complaints at 4JDC

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com – Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Monroe attorney’s complaint that Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court, shredded his filings with the court as well as the law clerk’s handling of other court documents were disclosed in a Louisiana State Police investigative report recently obtained by The Ouachita Citizen.

The State Police report represented the findings of State Police Investigator Ron Huey who looked into allegations that Campbell committed payroll fraud and destroyed documents filed with the district court. Huey was tasked with assisting Inspector General Investigator Heath Humble’s investigation, which began in July 2015 at the request of Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones.

See here the complete Louisiana State Police report.

I-20 Board Meeting Tomorrow

07/26/2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 4:00 PM, Mayor’s conference room, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

I-20 Agenda

1. Call To Order – Otis L. Chisley
2. Roll Call & Quorum Declaration – Charles Prichard
3. Adoption Of Prior Minutes
4. Frontage Road Issues – Kim & Kelvin
5. Change Orders
6. Nutland Road Update
7. Payment Of Shreveport Neon Signs
8. Southern States Utilities Update
9. Engineer Consultant For Traffic Litigation For North Frontage Road
10. Relocation Of Electrical Utilities On North Frontage Road
11. Closed Session **if needed**
12. Other Business
13. Public Participation
14. Adjourn

Ouachita Court Coverup Update

07/20/2016

Attorney General passes on prosecuting law clerk

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Fourth Judicial District Court law clerk Allyson Campbell cleared another legal hurdle this week when state Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a letter saying there’s not enough evidence to secure a “sustainable” conviction against Campbell for payroll fraud and the destruction of court documents.

The Ouachita Citizen’s review of state campaign finance records revealed a substantial contribution from Campbell’s brother-in-law to Landry’s campaign for attorney general. Landry defeated Buddy Caldwell, who was the incumbent, in a November 2015 run-off.

Christian Creed, a Monroe attorney, is Campbell’s brother-in-law; his wife, Catherine, also an attorney, is Campbell’s sister. Campaign finance records revealed Christian Creed made a campaign contribution of $5,000 to Landry on Nov. 12, 2015, prior to the run-off election, though he also had made a total of $1,500 in campaign contributions to Caldwell on and before Nov. 9, 2015.

Ouachita Court Coverup Update

07/13/2016

Federal judge rules LSP report is evidence

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Sharon Marchman can use information from a Louisiana State Police investigation as evidence in her lawsuit against district court officials and their attorneys, a federal judge ruled last week.

The State Police investigative report has surfaced as a key element in the controversy surrounding Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court. The State Police report on the investigation of Campbell’s activities is incriminating, according to a pleading filed Tuesday by Marchman.

Marchman’s lawsuit in U.S. District Court claims Campbell was paid for hours she did not work at Fourth Judicial District Court and that she also destroyed or concealed documents filed with the district court. Some Fourth Judicial District Court judges as well as local and state attorneys concealed Campbell’s activities and conspired with Campbell to retaliate against Marchman when the judge tried to shed light on the allegations against the clerk, according to Marchman’s lawsuit.

The State Police report on the investigation of the district court was filed under seal with the federal court last month. Marchman filed the State Police report as evidence to support her opposition to requests, or motions, for dismissal filed by Campbell, her attorney Brian Crawford of Monroe and the judges’ attorney, Jon Guice of Monroe. Those three individuals, who are each defendants in Marchman’s lawsuit, had previously asked the federal court to dismiss Marchman’s lawsuit.

Baton Rouge Newspaper: “Goofy” Monroe DA

07/03/2016

James Gill: In case of Alabama ‘stoners’ Cam Robinson, Hootie Jones, ‘goofy’ Monroe DA creates ‘blatant perversion of justice’

by James Gill

The press has moved on from that goofy district attorney who refused to file charges against two stoners found with guns in their car. Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones were deemed worthy of a pass because they play for the Crimson Tide.

This blatant perversion of justice got so many laughs that nobody seems to have noticed quite how serious it was. This was not, as some reports suggested, just a couple of kids given a break over a run-of-the-mill offense. Possessing drugs and a weapon at the same time means a mandatory five years in prison under Louisiana law. Robinson and Jones probably don’t know how lucky they are.

Robinson and Jones are from Monroe, where the local district attorney, Jerry Jones, achieved fleeting national attention a few weeks ago by announcing he was letting them off the hook because they had been sweating at football practice while the rest of us were taking it easy in the A/C. Jones presumably figured the voters of Ouachita Parish would agree with that reasoning, although it is possible that roofers or farm workers, say, did not find it persuasive.

It left Robinson and Hootie Jones to face the wrath of coach Nick Saban. Only a cynic would doubt that character is a prime consideration for college football coaches and that they always will take appropriate disciplinary measures.

Except, perhaps, if that would hurt their chance of winning. Saban’s wrath may not be enough to keep Robinson and Hootie Jones off the field for the season opener against USC.

Ouachita DA Firestorm Update

06/27/2016

Additional details of the arrest last May of two University of Alabama football players have been revealed by the Ouachita Citizen’s Zach Parker.

Six Monroe police officers involved in the arrest of two Alabama football players turned up DNA evidence and reported observing high-powered handguns and marijuana in plain view in the suspects’ automobile, as revealed in a Monroe police case file, though Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones took a pass at prosecuting the pair.

The six police officers’ reports entail a number of new details in the case, including conflicting statements made by the four men in the automobile.

See here the article.

The district attorney’s decision to keep the case away from a Ouachita Parish grand jury was reached amid ongoing scrutiny over Jones’ recent handling of an investigation into controversy surrounding Fourth Judicial District Court officials, including Jones’ contradictory statements about that investigation, its reports, his filing of misleading court documents as well as his decision to keep this newspaper’s criminal complaint out of the hands of agencies investigating the court.

See here the complete 49 page police report.

Ouachita Judges Say They’re Above the Law

06/23/2016

Judges claim immunity to lawsuits for acts of corruption

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Some Fourth Judicial District Court judges, who face claims for damages in a lawsuit filed in federal court by their peer Judge Sharon Marchman, filed pleadings Monday arguing they cannot be sued for acts of corruption or malice.

The four defendant judges making that argument are judges Fred Amman, Wilson Rambo and Carl Sharp as well as retired Judge Ben Jones, who now serves as court administrator, at Fourth Judicial District Court for Ouachita and Morehouse parishes. They are represented by special assistant attorney general Brian D. Landry, of Shreveport.

Those four judges are just a few of a handful of defendants who Marchman claimed violated her constitutional rights when she tried to expose the defendants’ concerted efforts to cover up law clerk Allyson Campbell’s alleged payroll fraud and document destruction.

Ouachita DA Creates National Firestorm

06/20/2016

From the New York Post

DA: I didn’t charge Alabama stars because they play football

By Howie Kussoy

Play football, avoid prosecution.

District attorney Jerry Jones of Louisiana is declining to press charges against two Alabama football players — left tackle Cam Robinson and safety Laurence “Hootie” Jones — who were arrested in May. While the filing from the Ouachita Parish District Attorney’s office cites insufficient evidence, Jones stated he was reluctant to hurt the players’ careers.

Both players were arrested in their hometown of Monroe, La., and were potentially facing charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Robinson also could have been subject to a felony charge for illegal possession of a firearm.

“I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I’m doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning,” Jones told KNOE-TV.

062016 Decline

Robinson arrest

Recall that neighboring Lincoln Parish District Attorney John Belton disobeyed a Federal Judge’s order regarding school attendance zones for his kids.


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