Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Police Jury’ Category

Jury Finance Committee Reviews Budget Requests

09/15/2021

Last night the Lincoln Parish Police Jury Finance Committee voted to review and consider 2022 budget requests from the several area agencies that depend partly on jury general fund monies for their operation.

See here the request letters.

Most agencies did not address the committee, but the three Third Judicial District (Lincoln, Union Parishes) were there and did speak to the committee. Among their requests were COLA raises for court reporters, renovations for the courtroom balcony, and a share of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 monies.

Division B Judge Tommy Rogers said that in light of recent court decisions, court funding from fines and court costs will probably decline in the future.

Said Rogers, “Recent federal and state appellate decisions have indicated that its going to be increasingly hard to help fund the court system in Louisiana with fines and court costs. And that is a huge chunk of our budget, the money that we get from the criminal court fund.”

One decision that appears to be pertinent is a 2019 case in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Cain, et al Vs Orleans Parish District Court.

The plaintiffs in that case alleged that the Judges’ practices in collecting criminal fines and fees violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment partly because the defendants ability to pay was not taken into consideration.

The Fifth also cited pertinent cases that examined the ways in which judges have an institutional interest in their judicial expense fund. It observed that the fines and fees revenue goes into that fund, over which the judges exercise total control.

In other words, the courts have a direct pecuniary interest in how much is collected in fines and court costs.

The full jury convened as Property Assessment Board of Review and unanimously voted to uphold Tax Assessor Billy McBride concerning a challenge from Regency Interstate Gas, LLC.

They also certified the assessment list to the Louisiana State Tax Commission.

During the reports, Parish Administrator Doug Postel briefly mentioned the upcoming November 13 library tax election and the narrow window available to certify the results before tax bills are sent to parish property owners.

Said Postel, “The library millage election that was originally to be held in October – statewide elections were moved by the Governor because of Hurricane Ida. That election will be now held on November 13. We have been working closely with Mr. McBride and the Sheriff on the timing of that election, making sure that we can get the votes canvassed and get the tax bills out. We will have a joint press release announcement about how that will unfold in the coming days.”

Police Jury Meets Today

09/14/2021

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet today (Tuesday, September 14), Lincoln Parish Library Events Center, 910 North Trenton Street.

Here are the meeting times and agendas.

  • Public Works Committee – 5:15 PM – Agenda
  • Finance Committee – 6:00 PM – Agenda
  • Police Jury – 7:00 PM – Agenda

Police Jury Revamps Job Descriptions

08/11/2021

Most of last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police involved the Personnel/Benefits Committee hearing a report from Personnel Director LaTonya Lacey. She reviewed changes in job descriptions and classifications.

Lacy referred to a draft job description document and noted that strike-throughs were deletions of positions or duties, and highlights indicated additions.

For example, Lacy noted that the classification of ‘secretary’ were all changed to ‘administrative assistant.’

“Instead of secretary we’ll now say administrative assistant,” she said.

At the end of the report a budget projection was included to show 2021 wages and benefits, and the projected 2022 wage/benefit costs. It was said that the total number of employees won’t change.

During the full jury meeting, District Six juror Glen Scriber said that the archery range at the Lincoln Parish Park would be ready for use in early September.

Said Scriber, “We will meet that date. On August the 21st we have a group of people to cut all the lanes where the targets will be. The next week we will actually set the targets.”

“This thing is about to become a reality,” he added.

There was discussion about a formal ribbon-cutting later in the fall when cooler weather arrives.

Also, the jury heard the monthly financial report from Laura Hartt.

Police Jury meets Tomorrow

08/09/2021

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, August 10, Lincoln Parish Library Events Center, 910 North Trenton Street.

Police Jury to Hire Financial Manager

07/14/2021

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury last night voted to create and advertise for a new staff position, that of Financial Manager. Jury President Richard Durrett asked that the permanent position of Parish Treasurer be left unfilled, and that Laura Hartt continue as a contract internal auditor.

Said Durrett, “This individual will handle the majority of the daily financial management of the jury. The administrator will continue to serve as the interim treasurer.”

The vote was unanimous.

Here is the job description and qualifications.

Durrett also recommended that payroll services be outsourced. Hartt had suggested that a critical task of that nature should have more resources allocated to it.

That vote was also unanimous.

The tax resolution for 2021 property taxes was also passed, but there was one dissenting vote, District Four’s T J Cranford.

Prior to the vote, there was a bit of discussion over how much more money would be collected by the slight increase in rates.

It was estimated that the new rate would collect about $30 thousand/year more than the 2020 rate. That would mean a homeowner with a $200 thousand house would pay about $0.88 more per year, it was said.

The jury passed unanimously a resolution in support of the upcoming Lincoln Parish Library tax vote. That vote is set for Saturday, October 9.

That tax rate is 4.49 mils and is for a ten-year term. The prior tax rate approved in 2010 was for a maximum of 5.99 mils.

Last year, the library’s first attempt to renew the tax at a rate of 5.85 for ten years was defeated 57% to 43%.

During reports, Lincoln Parish Homeland Security Director Kip Franklin updated the jury on the status of the various FEMA grants and awards.

See here the report.

The Public Works Committee approved a revised animal control ordinance. LPSO Deputy Rob Sasser was on hand to answer questions.

Sasser had made a presentation to the jury last January.

Police Jury to Hike Taxes, Slightly

07/12/2021

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will tomorrow night hold a public hearing for input prior to voting to set the property tax millage rates for 2021.

For 2020, the millage rates were 1.67 and 3.35 for “general alimony,” or for any purpose the jury may choose; and two millages of 4.39 each for roads and bridges.

See here the document.

The new proposed rates are 1.68, 3.37, 4.41, and 4.41.

See here the document.

For 2019, the rates were 1.67, 3.37, 4.41, and 4.41.

See here the document.

Also, tomorrow night’s meeting will be held at the jury’s conference room on the third floor of the Lincoln Parish Court House. This the first time since spring, 2020 that the jury will have met at that location.

Here are the agendas:

Public Works Committee – 6:30 PM

Police Jury – 7:00 PM

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Meets Tomorrow

06/07/2021

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, June 8, Lincoln Parish Library Events Center, 910 North Trenton.

Here are the agendas and meeting times:

Public Records Requests Filed for Proof of Statements

05/24/2021

Lincoln Parish News Online filed two public records requests yesterday asking for proof of statements made last week by the commander of the Louisiana State Police and by the Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney regarding the Ronald Greene case.

It has become quite clear that nothing said by anyone connected to this case can be relied upon. After twelve years of covering government and its people, we’ve learned that “If it ain’t in writing, it didn’t happen.”

We requested from the Louisiana State Police documentation proving the delivery of case files and receipt thereof from the agencies as was claimed last Friday by Louisiana State Police Col. Lamar Davis. We understand that it is LSP procedure to require a signed and dated receipt whenever case files are submitted.

From Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton’s office, we requested a call log or any correspondence that would verify his allegation last week that he asked the U. S. Department of Justice or the FBI to intervene in the Greene case “…on the day I received the report…”

There is a six-month gap between when Belton said he contacted the FBI and when Davis alleges files were delivered to the FBI.

Here are our requests:

Louisiana State Police Public Records Request

Third Judicial District Attorney Public Records Request

We will report what we learn from the agencies promptly.

If they try stonewalling again, we’ll report that, too.

Amended Lawsuit Filed Thurs, 5/20/21 in Ronald Greene Wrongful Death Civil Case

05/22/2021

An amended complaint in the civil lawsuit alleging the wrongful death of Ronald Greene was filed this past Thursday in US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

The original lawsuit was filed in May, 2020, a year after the incident that occurred in Union Parish near the Crossroads community.

The amended complaint adds some defendants, and also adds some new language to the facts pleading section of the lawsuit, based upon new information from bodycam videos and the autopsy.

Here is the original lawsuit.

Here is the amended complaint.

Until the original lawsuit was filed, the public knew only what the Louisiana State Police claimed was Greene’s cause of death – a car crash.

Incredible as it may seem here in the Twenty-First Century, several local, state and federal governmental agencies – Louisiana State Police, Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney, Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, Union Parish Coronor, FBI, and Rocky Branch Fire District – were able to construct a coverup and maintain Omerta for a solid year.

Union Parish Sheriff’s Office Report on Greene Homicide

05/22/2021

Last year when the Ronald Greene homicide case first became public, we suspected a massive and co-ordinated coverup among several government agencies was underway to conceal both the manner of death and the people involved in the incident.

Our suspicions appear to have been accurate.

Acting upon those suspicions, we executed several public records request, one of which was to the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office for any reports it may have generated relative to the incident. After several months, we received a response.

Our request was made on 9/14/2020, and the response is dated 02/23/2021.

It consists of a call sheet, a log of personnel involved, and a narrative by Union Parish Sheriff’s Office (UPSO) Deputy Chris Harpin. His narrative reads as follows:

On Friday May 10, 2019 at approximately 0022 hours I, Dy. Chris Harpin, was advised by dispatch that LSP was in pursuit of a northbound vehicle on Hwy. 143, in Ouachita Parish, and they were asking for assistance. I then went towards the intersection of Hwy. 2 and Hwy. 143 at Crossroads.

I asked dispatch to notify Pafford Ambulance Service, so they would be on standby, in case the pursued vehicle wrecked. Prior to my arrival, dispatch advised me the vehicle wrecked and that the Troopers in pursuit could not be reached by radio. Then, dispatch advised that the Troopers were calling for more units. Upon arrival, I observed two LSP units and a small, silver SUV on Crossroads Loop. As I approached on foot, I saw the two Troopers in between their cars, on the ground, with a unidentified B/M. The Troopers were asking the B/M to give them his right hand so they could handcuff him. The Troopers asked me to help them get him handcuffed as the B/M was actively resisting them and not complying with their verbal commands. TheTroopers already had the B/M’s left hand in a handcuff, but he was trying to roll on his left side and pull it under his body. The B/M was lying face down on the ground and had his right arm tucked under his upper body with his right hand near his head. I reached under the B/M’s body, trapped his right wrist with both of my hands and pulled his arm down, towards his belt. I then straitened the arm out and pulled his hand up and behind his back. One of the Troopers was then able to handcuff the right hand. The B/M was breathing and grunting as he pulled against the handcuffs.

I then advised dispatch that we had one person in custody and definitely needed medical assistance. The B/M was bleeding from a head wound. More Troopers arrived shortly after getting the B/M handcuffed. Rocky Branch Fire arrived shortly after the back up Troopers and started medical treatment. Pafford arrived approximately 10 minutes after RBFD. The B/M was loaded into the Pafford Ambulance and transported to Glenwood Hospital. We were advised, while still at the scene, that the B/M had died while en route to Glenwood.

LSP advised that they would be sending Detectives to the scene. I helped MT Kory York take measurements of the scene while waiting for the Detectives. At this time I was advised that the B/M’s name was Ronald Allan Greene (B/M, DOB 9/28/1969). Upon the Detectives arrival, I was asked to give a statement of my participation in the incident, which I did. The silver SUV that Greene was driving was removed by Brick’s Towing and taken to Troop F for further examination.

Nothing further.
Dy. Chris Harpin 301

Here is the complete document.

Two other UPSO Deputies were on scene, according to the report – Cade Mobley and Cade Nolan.