By Zach Parker and Johnny Gunter
Inquiries by The Ouachita Citizen into Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones’ involvement in an investigation of Fourth Judicial District Court show the district attorney offered a false account of his communications with investigators, filed misleading court documents and did not refer this newspaper’s criminal complaint against the court to authorities involved in the investigation.
Those activities formed part of Jones’ efforts to downplay the investigation into possible wrongdoing at the court as well as his involvement in the probe.
The investigation stemmed from allegations that law clerk Allyson Campbell committed payroll fraud and destroyed or concealed court records. Those accusations also are the focus of separate lawsuits, one filed in district court by Monroe businessman Stanley R. Palowsky III and the other in federal court filed by Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Sharon Marchman.
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An amended lawsuit by Fourth Judicial (Ouachita, Morehouse Parishes) District Court Judge Sharon Marchman against several fellow judges in that district cites evidence of payroll fraud by court clerk Allyson Campbell.
The exhibit attached to the suit indicates that on several occasions, Campbell’s timecards showed hours worked while she was not at her workplace. Court employees have electronic security devices that open secured doors in the building. On the dates in question, Campbell’s device showed no activity, but the timecards record hours worked.
See here the document.
The lawsuit alleges that the named defendants conspired to cover up the payroll fraud, and tried to damage Marchmann’s reputation for calling attention to the situation.
From the document:
As shown in the summary, on seven different days Defendant Campbell reported that she had worked seven hours even though the key fob reports and video footage showed that she had not entered the courthouse on any of those days. Law enforcement officials have since interviewed Defendant Campbell and Defendant Judge Sharp, and they both misrepresented the facts concerning Campbell’s attendance at work.
By Zach Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
Law clerk Allyson Campbell and Monroe attorney Brian Crawford both asked the U.S. District Court on Tuesday for more time to respond to Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Sharon Marchman’s lawsuit against them and other court officials.
Campbell and Crawford are two of several defendants in Marchman’s lawsuit, which claims some Fourth Judicial District Court officials and their attorneys threatened, harassed, ridiculed and alienated her when she tried to uncover their alleged efforts to cover up wrongdoing at the court. Campbell is accused — in Marchman’s lawsuit, as well as in a Fourth Judicial District Court lawsuit pursued by Monroe businessman Stanley R. Palowsky III — of committing payroll fraud and destroying or concealing documents filed with the court.
The other judges that Marchman claimed mistreated her are Carl Sharp, Fred Amman, Wilson Rambo and former Judge Ben Jones, who now serves as the court’s administrator. Those four judges also tried to cover up Campbell’s activities, Marchman said.
From the Ouachita Citizen:
By Zach Parker email@example.com
The ongoing saga surrounding Stanley Palowsky III’s conflict with Fourth Judicial District Court officials took a turn Tuesday when Judge Sharon Marchman sued four of her colleagues on the bench and law clerk Allyson Campbell among others in U.S. District Court in Monroe.
Marchman’s lawsuit arises from the allegations that Campbell committed payroll fraud and destroyed or concealed court filings submitted by Palowsky in a lawsuit against a former business partner as well as allegations that district court judges covered up Campbell’s activities.
Defendants in Marchman’s lawsuit include Campbell, former state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, Shreveport attorney Lawrence Pettiette (Campbell’s attorney), Monroe attorney Brian Crawford (Campbell’s attorney), attorney Jon Guice (judges’ attorney), Judges Carl Sharp, Fred Amman, Wilson Rambo and former Judge Ben Jones, who now serves as the court’s administrator.
Marchman said her efforts to “do the right thing and stop the cover-up of Campbell’s payroll fraud and document destruction” led to the defendants’ actions turning her into a “virtual pariah at the courthouse.”
See here the lawsuit.
A political flier with Monroe Mayoral candidate Ray Armstrong photoshopped into a KKK hood was used in the 2001 Monroe Mayor’s race with candidate Guy Barr’s likeness instead of Armstrong, according to a KNOE-TV8 news story.
“These flyers have been going out from Jamie Mayo when he did the same kind of thing to Guy Barr,” said Armstrong.
He’s referring to Guy Barr. He ran for mayor against Mayo in 2001. He told us over the phone tonight he got similar treatment.
By Johnny Gunter – Feb 17, 2016
Monroe businessman Stanley Palowsky III and his attorneys want sanctions brought against five Fourth Judicial District Court judges, law clerk Allyson Campbell and the host of attorneys representing the six defendants.
Palowsky and his attorneys, Sedric Banks of Monroe and Joe Ward of Covington, say the district court officials and their attorneys also should be found in contempt of court.
Meanwhile, in an unexpected move, ad hoc Judge Jerome J. Barbera III removed the seal of court records in Stanley R. Palowsky III v. Allyson Campbell and others. Barbera, a retired district court judge from Thibodeaux, had ordered the court record sealed from the public at the end of a Nov. 5 hearing. His order to unseal the case was filed Feb. 10.
Barbera’s handwritten order unsealing the court record was signed in Grapevine, Texas and faxed to the Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court from the Great Wolf Lodge of Grapevine.
By Johnny Gunter
Monroe attorney Sedric Banks claimed in a motion filed last month in Fourth Judicial District Court that Judge Carl V. Sharp filed a false report with the Louisiana Supreme Court.
According to Banks’ Jan. 12 motion for a status conference, Sharp informed the Supreme Court he had no cases under advisement through the end of December. Banks said he filed his motion for recusal in October at which time it should have been under advisement by Sharp.
In a handwritten note on Banks’ Jan. 12 motion, he wrote he was “making a record as to why the court refuses to take any action to resolve plaintiff’s motion to recuse; why the court files false reports to La. Supreme Court.”
Judges are required to file a monthly report on all cases that have been under advisement for more than 30 days.
Sharp previously ran into trouble with the state Supreme Court in 2003. At that time, he was suspended for 60 days without pay. One of the reasons for his suspension was repeatedly filing false reports and not making timely decisions.
Funeral services for Byrd Lee Minter, Jr., 83 of Monroe, LA will be held at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at First Assembly of God in West Monroe, Louisiana under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, West Monroe with Pastor Shane Warren officiating. Visitation will be held from 3:00 P.M. until service time on Sunday. A Friends & Family Fellowship will immediately follow the service in the fellowship hall.
Interment will be at Prairie View Cemetery in Aransas Pass, Texas under the direction of Charlie Marshall Funeral Home on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Visitation at the Charlie Marshall Funeral Home will be from 11:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. with a memorial service at 2:00 P.M.
Byrd was born May 8, 1932 and passed from this life on February 4, 2016.
As a boy, Byrd began working as a deck hand for his father’s deep-sea fishing charters and rowing duck hunters to the family-owned duck blinds for 50 cents. After graduating from Southwestern Assemblies of God High School and College in Waxahachie, TX, Byrd served his country with the U.S. Coast Guard based out of Anchorage, Alaska during the Korean War. Upon leaving the service, Byrd attended and graduated from Texas A&I in Kingsville, TX with a Petroleum Engineering degree which led him to a working career with Southern Union Gas in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dallas, Texas then to North Carolina Gas Company of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and then to Ford, Bacon & Davis in Monroe, Louisiana.
Leaving the corporate world in 1979, he ventured into entrepreneurial endeavors which returned him to what he loved; the water. Byrd and Jonell bought a boat marina, Buckeye Landing, on Toledo Bend, near Many, LA. Then, in his retirement years, Byrd worked as a consulting engineer to numerous surrounding municipalities and owned a small service business, LitterVac of Monroe. He enjoyed connecting with people through church, family, friends and his involvements with local political and public groups. Those who knew Byrd, also known as “Mr. B”, knew he was always looking for an ear to bend, whether to brag of his 32-point, 267 ¾ point typical mule deer that landed him in “the book” – Boone and Crockett, or to tell of his days as a deck-hand on his father’s boat serving Vice President LBJ, movie stars, and foreign diplomats. He was introduced and proclaimed by The News Star as a watchdog of local politics often writing letters to the editor and speaking before the City Council and Police Jury where he always stood on his principles.
Byrd was preceded in death by his mother, Lena Lucile Richerson; his father, Byrd Lee Minter, Sr.; and his brother, Garland E. Minter.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Jonell Dierlam Minter; four sons, Randy Minter and wife, Paula, Mike Minter and wife, Virginia, Darryl Minter and wife, Donna, Joel Minter and wife, Alicia; grandchildren, (Randy’s) Trever Minter and wife, Jen, Tracey Hinton and husband, Jack, (Mike’s) Chris Taylor and wife, Angie, Cindy Williams and husband, Donnie, Scott Taylor, Marc Minter and wife, Cassidy, Thomas Minter and wife, Annelise, Eric Minter, Maria McMillan and husband, Chance, Trisha Stroud and husband, Danny, Joseph Minter, Becky Minter, Debi Minter, (Darryl’s) Chase Minter and wife, Rebecca, Daralyn Pepmiller and husband, James, (Joel’s) Ben Minter and wife, Jessica, Rachel Minter, and Sarah Minter; and 15 great grandchildren with two more on the way.
In Lieu of Flowers, donations can be made to the building construction fund of First Assembly of God, 715 Cypress Street, West Monroe, 71291.
The family would like to give their heartfelt appreciation to The Oaks nursing home staff and aids, especially to those who went above and beyond their duties, with special thanks to Leroy.
Online Registry/Condolences: http://www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com
By Zach Parker
An ad hoc judge presiding over a Monroe businessman’s lawsuit against Fourth Judicial District Court officials has ordered counsel to present arguments at a hearing in early March.
However, retired Judge Jerry Barbera indicated he likely would not allow other forms of evidence such as witness testimony during a hearing that’s scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 4.