Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Sheriff’ Category

Detention Center 2019 Budget Proposed

11/11/2018

Friday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission saw two budget documents proposed and discussed – the 2018 amended budget, and the 2019 proposed budget. Both will be considered for approval in a upcoming meeting before year-end.

2018 amended budget
2019 proposed budget

For 2018, revenues were slightly better than originally projected, $4.26 million vs $4.22 million.

Expenditures were slightly lower than projected, coming in at $4.1 million vs $4.29 originally projected.

2019 revenues are projected at $6.87 million, with expenditures predicted to be $6.83 million.

The jump in revenues and expenses for 2019 is due to the $2.5 million cost of the jail addition. On the revenue side it was shown under a line item labeled USDA loan. In the expenditures, it was shown as capital outlay.

However, no expenditure line item was shown for any repayment of loan principal and interest back to the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, the entity actually borrowing the $2.5 million.

Sheriff Mike Stone has said on numerous occasions that he will repay the jury in full for the loan. At a recent jury meeting, juror Walter Pullen said he would like to see a signed agreement from the sheriff regarding the loan.

When questioned about the line item, it was said that the repayment would be included in the amended 2019 budget that will be presented later next year.

We will question the jury’s finance committee at the upcoming meeting to determine where that repayment money will show up on its budget documents.

We were disappointed that no jury members were at the meeting, save Joe Henderson, who chairs the commission.

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Ammonia Pipeline Update

09/21/2018

Lincoln Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness For Information, Contact Kip Franklin, Director at 318-251-6454 or kfranklin@lincolnparish.org

Lincoln Parish, Ammonia Pipeline Leak

Lincoln Parish – September 21, 2018, 2:00 pm

Reporting on the Ammonia Pipeline Incident in Lincoln Parish. Louisiana

The State Police Emergency Services Division and Department of Environmental Quality personnel have cleared the incident scene at the ammonia pipeline. NuStar Pipeline officials continue making progress on repairs to the pipeline with hopes of completing the work on Saturday.

State police patrol units will keep La. Hwy. 822 closed from Bartlett Road to La. Hwy. 33 through the night and then open the road to through traffic at 8 am on Saturday morning, September 22nd.

Access to this section of La. Hwy. 822 is for LOCAL RESIDENTS ONLY, and no traffic will be allowed through the immediate work site until the road is opened on Saturday morning at 8 am. Lincoln Parish School Bus traffic will resume their routine routes on Monday, September 24th.

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Repeat: Sumlin Case no Closer to Resolution

09/19/2018

Former State Representative William Sumlin was in Third Judicial District Court yesterday afternoon in Ruston, but once again, a hearing on pending motions was delayed until November 20.

Sumlin was arrested in October, 2015 on a charge of indecent behavior with juvenile(s).

Presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

LaValle Salomon represented Sumlin in court yesterday, and
Assistant District Attorney Lewis Jones appeared for the state.

Salomon arrived in court at 2:30 PM, but his two cases weren’t heard until after 5 PM, immediately after a 45 minute recess.

Mays Murder Trial Reset for Next February

08/29/2018

The trial of accused murderer Cameron Mays was reset for Monday, February 25, 2019 to allow a new defense attorney to familiarize himself with the case. The joint defense/prosecution motion was approved in Third Judicial District (Lincoln, Union Parishes) Court in Ruston yesterday morning.

Indigent Defender Dwyane Burrell will be defending, alongside Kia Richardson.

Mays is charged with a June, 2012 crime spree that resulted in the death of retired Grambling State University Professor Dr. Sue Hashway, and the aggravated rape and kidnapping of a Louisiana Tech University co-ed.

Mays was convicted in April, 2016 of kidnapping, aggravated rape, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Mays was not in court. Appearing for the prosecution was Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young.

Presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

More LACE Woes

08/25/2018

DPSO sheriff, deputies agree to hand over files but auditors continue court battle

Vickie Welborn – KTBS TV3 Shreveport

The DeSoto Parish sheriff weeks ago said he and nine current and former employees are making their personnel files available to state auditors who are reviewing allegations of abuse in a program where law officers moonlight doing traffic enforcement. But that has not stopped a court battle.

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office has asked the state Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that ruled any future court disputes should be decided in DeSoto Parish, not East Baton Rouge Parish, where auditors work. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal earlier this month declined to hear an appeal from the auditors.

The files are in dispute in connection with an investigation being conducted by state auditors into a ticket-writing program called LACE, or Local Agency Compensation Enforcement, where the state pays deputies overtime to do traffic enforcement. Some deputies have been caught padding their overtime.

State auditors have been in DeSoto Parish off-and-on since late last year looking at the LACE participation of several agencies that benefit from the program.

Suspected LACE abuses occurred during the administration of DeSoto Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle, who resigned earlier this year. Arbuckle discontinued his deputies’ participation in the LACE in the spring of 2017 after District Attorney Gary Evans assumed administration of the program and began diverting revenue from tickets to his office and away from other public entities.

LPPJ to Apply for Jail Construction Loan

08/16/2018

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) voted Tuesday night to proceed in borrowing about $2.7 million to construct a 100-bed addition to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, but not before more discussion on how the Lincoln Parish Sheriff would reimburse the jury. The sheriff operates the jail under the direction of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission. That agency is made up of the sheriff, the district attorney, the Ruston PD chief, and two police jurors.

Walter Pullen (District 6) argued again that there needed to be some sort of written agreement between the jury and the detention center commission. Last month he had said the agreement should be with the sheriff, but since there may be a new sheriff next year, any agreement with Mike Stone couldn’t last beyond his term.

Said Pullen, “I still have the same concern today, that I had last month. We need a contractual obligation either with the detention center commission – which we have two of the five seats – or with whoever will be running the detention center, that paying the loan – we need in writing that’s the first call on paying the loan. If we don’t get that, I won’t vote for this plan.”

There are several more steps before actual construction can begin. Detailed architectural plans must be drawn, bids solicited, and a contractor selected.

Approval was also granted to engage The Grey Knight Group to help administer the loan application process. The cost was estimated at 1% of total project cost.

The jury also set the property tax rates for 2018, which will be the same as the 2017 rates, save a .20 mil reduction in the Lincoln Parish Library’s equipment and furniture levy.

See here the ordinances.

Sheriff Agrees to Payback Agreement on New Jail Construction

07/11/2018

Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone agreed at last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) to language guaranteeing repayment to the jury the cost of constructing a $2.75 million addition to the parish jail. That money would come from the detention center operating budget, which Stone controls.

Said Stone, “We know we have obligations, and we’re sure going to meet that to the best we can as long as I’m there. I don’t mind adding that on as an addendum to the legislation, or whatever.”

Stone’s remarks came in response to a series of questions from District Six Juror Walter Pullen.

Pullen asked who would be responsible for repayment, and expressed concern that jury needed formal assurance for that repayment.

Said Pullen, “We need to have something in writing that contractually obligates the Detention Center Commission to service the indebtedness to the best of their ability.”

District Nine Juror Joe Henderson, who also serves as the Detention Center Commission Chair, also agreed to those terms.

Henderson, “We have to understand and know that’s all going to be covered in the contract.”
Pullen: “But we need to make sure all that’s understood and in writing before we sign the contract.”
Henderson: “I know, but we’re going to make sure.”

The new ten thousand sq ft jail addition would create about 100 new spaces to house inmates, and would prevent having to house overflow prisoners at other local jails in adjoining parishes. When that condition occurs, the Lincoln jail must pay the housing costs to the other jails.

Several comments were made that suggested that the state legislation from 1982 that created the Commission already provided for repayment of the debt.

However, LA RS 15:848 et seq, the legislation from 1982 that created the commission has no such provision. That law only states that the commission is obliged to “operate and maintain” the jail.

The commission has a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Sheriff’s Office to furnish manpower for the jail. The Sheriff also controls the money that operates the jail, provides medical care, and feeds the prisoners

That agreement, at present, has no language in at all allowing debt obligations, or repayment of any debt.

Pullen also asked Stone if he were running for reelection, but Stone declined to say. Pullen said it was a legitimate question, because if any agreement were made with the sheriff as the operator of the jail, it could not enforceable beyond his existing term.

Preliminary Approval for LPPJ to Borrow on Jail Addition

06/28/2018

The U. S. Department of Agriculture has given preliminary approval for the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) to apply for a loan to build a 10 thousand sq ft, $3 million addition to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, it was told at yesterday’s meeting of the Detention Center Commission.

See here the document.

The next step is for a public hearing on the proposal, which is tentatively scheduled for the 7/10/18 meeting of the jury.

While the jury is legally obligated to pay off any loan, Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone has repeatedly said that the jury will be reimbursed from savings that the new building will accumulate. Presently, many prisoners are housed in adjacent parish jails, and Lincoln Parish must pay for their upkeep.

The jail houses about 100 state prisoners, and is paid about $24 each per day for upkeep. That money is a significant part of the revenue for jail operation.

It is unclear what kind of formal written agreement there will be between the jury and the sheriff for repayment of any loan, or even if there will be such an agreement other than verbal.

One other notable piece of news from Stone is that Major Chad Alexander has been assigned to the jail to assist Warden Jim Tuten.

$12 Thousand/Yr Sheriff Pay Raise Signed into Law

05/18/2018

A bill that will give Louisiana Sheriffs an average pay raise of $12,750/year was signed into law last week by Governor Bel Edwards, and will become effective 8/1/2018. The raises will be effective July 1, 2020

See here Act 123.

To qualify for the higher pay, a sheriff must have graduated from the FBI Acadamy, or have an associate or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, or have 20 years experience in law enforcement or the military. Any one of the requirements will qualify the individual.

According to the fiscal note from the Legislative Auditor, the average base pay of Louisiana sheriffs today is $161,599/yr, and the average annual retirement contribution is $20,604.

See here the document.

Sumlin Case no Closer to Resolution

05/16/2018

Former State Representative William Sumlin was in Third Judicial District Court yesterday afternoon in Ruston, but once again, a hearing on pending motions was delayed until September 18.

Sumlin was arrested in October, 2015 on a charge of indecent behavior with juvenile(s).

Presiding was Division B Judge Tommy Rogers.

LaValle Salomon represented Sumlin in court yesterday, and
Assistant District Attorney Lewis Jones appeared for the state.

Sumlin’s health appears to have declined in the three years since his arrest, and he limped noticeably as he left court.

He has been free on bond since his arrest.