Archive for the ‘Louisiana Legislature’ Category

Sumlin Pleads Guilty to Obscenity

12/17/2019

A Former Louisiana House of Representatives member this evening plead guilty to one charge of Obscenity with a Juvenile in Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court in Ruston.

William Sumlin, 76, of Simsboro was sentenced to three years hard labor, suspended, three years supervised probation, and a $1 thousand fine.

Sumlin told Division B Judge Tommy Rogers “Yessir” when asked by the judge did you on or about September 18, 2015 “exhibit sexually violent material to a juvenile who was 16?”

After sentencing, Sumlin said “I’m sorry this happened.”

He served in the Louisiana House from 1983 to 1988.

The charge of obscenity is defined thus:

LA RS §106:A(6)

Advertisement, exhibition, electronic communication, or display of sexually violent material. “Violent material” is any tangible work or thing which the trier of facts determines depicts actual or simulated patently offensive acts of violence, including but not limited to, acts depicting sadistic conduct, whippings, beatings, torture, and mutilation of the human body, as described in Item (2)(b)(iii) of this Subsection.

The original charge was Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile, and carries a maximum penalty of seven years and a maximum $5 thousand fine.

See here the original indictment.

Sumlin was arrested in October, 2015.

Sumlin was defended by Monroe attorney LaValle Salomon and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lewis Jones.

The guilty plea followed an hour-long recess where the prosecutor and defense attorney presumably hammered out the details of the deal. Also, Salomon could be seen huddled in discussion several times with Sumlin both in and out of the courtroom.

Ouachita Citizen: Former Congressman McAllister had biz ties to alleged Ponzi schemer

11/29/2019

The Ouachita Citizen’s Zach Parker is reporting in this week’s edition that former Fifth District Congressman Vance McAllister had at one time a business connection with Donnie Laing, Jr., who was last week indicted in connection with a million dollar Ponzi scheme.

Parker wrote that McAllister launched an energy company with Laing in 2016, according to Secretary of State records. Records show Laing, McAllister and McAllister’s father, Gene, filed a domestic charter for E5 Energy LLC on Sept. 26, 2016.

However, McAllister was quoted by Parker as saying that he didn’t know about Laing’s recent indictment.

“Are you serious? When did this happen?” McAllister said. “I haven’t been able to get a hold of Donnie for a week now. This is all news to me.”

Parker wrote that Secretary of State records show Laing, McAllister and McAllister’s father are no longer listed as agents, managers, or members of the E5 Energy corporation, and that the company was set up to provide equipment rentals in the oil and gas industry.

See here the complete article (subscription required).

In 2017, McAllister was sued by several area banks for alleged unpaid loans.

Former North LA Congressman Implicated in Ponzi Scheme

11/25/2019

An unnamed former congressman from North Louisiana has been implicated in a million dollar Ponzi scheme that allegedly defrauded investors by claiming to invest the money in oil and gas equipment.

Donnie Laing, 39, of Youngsville, LA was last week charged with nine counts of wire fraud. He is listed as the sole owner of Capital Energy Investments of Breaux Bridge, LA.

According to the indictment that was filed last week:

It was part of the scheme and artifice to defraud that the defendant, Donnie Laing, Jr., formed a business relationship with “Individual A”, an associate living in northeast Louisiana, who was well-known in the City of Monroe and throughout northeast Louisiana due to his former position as a United States Congressman.

It was further part of the scheme and artifice to defraud that the defendant, Donnie Laing, Jr. enlisted the assistance of “Individual A”, to solicit money from the Ponzi Investors to, among other things, invest in Capital’s purported purchase of oil and gas equipment for use in “fracking” wells.

It was further part of the scheme and artifice to defraud that, in soliciting these monies, Donnie Laing, Jr. falsely and fraudulently represented to the Ponzi Investors that he had contracts and relationships with oil and gas companies that would allow Capital to earn high rates of return by purchasing oil and gas equipment and then leasing such equipment to oil and gas companies engaged in oil and gas exploration activities.

It was further part of the scheme and artifice to defraud that the defendant, Donnie Laing, Jr., did not invest any of the money transferred to him by the Ponzi Investors into the promised investments. Instead, Donnie Laing, Jr., used the Ponzi Investors’ money for his own purposes.

See here the complete document.

A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds.

From the U. S. Attorney’s Office press release:

Laing orchestrated a Ponzi scheme whereby he and a well-known associate in northeast Louisiana, solicited money from multiple investors by falsely promising them high rates of return when they invested with his company, Capital. Laing represented that Capital would use the money to invest in oil and gas equipment, and then lease such equipment to companies engaged in oil and gas exploration activities. Throughout the scheme, Laing submitted false proposals and contracts to the Ponzi investors to persuade them to invest their money with Capital. He also used funds from new investors to make “lulling” payments to his victims to solicit additional monies and to avoid detection. Contrary to his representations, Laing used investor funds for his own purposes.

Local Election Results

11/17/2019

State Senator — 35th Senatorial District
116 of 116 precincts reporting – 100%
absentee reporting – 100%
17,894 – James R. “Jim” Fannin (REP) 50%
18,167 – “Jay” Morris (REP) 50%
Total: 36,061 – Unofficial Turnout: 50.0%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 1
100% Reporting
Theresa Wyatt (D) – 489 – 58%
Daphne Gallot-Knighten (D) – 360 – 42%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 3
100% Reporting
Marvin Franks, Jr. (R) – 796 – 54%
Nicky McCullin (R) – 679 – 46%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 4
100% Reporting
T. J. Cranford (R) – 781 – 52%
Randy Roberson (R) – 707 – 48%

Lincoln Parish Police Juror District 5
100% Reporting
Logan Hunt (R) – 1,011 – 58%
Brandon Milner (R) – 733 – 42%

Early Voting Statistics

11/08/2019

Early voting statistics for Louisiana’s November 16 gubernatorial runoff show that over 350 thousand voters have cast an early ballot or absentee through yesterday, November 7.

That represents approximately 11.9% of the state’s 2.97 million registered voters.

Approximately 1.36 million total votes were cast in the October 12 primary, about 45.9% of registered voters.

Of those who have voted, 162,249 were registered as Democrat and 138,317 were Republican. Other/No Party votes totaled 52,495.

By race, the vote totals were white 239,139; black 104,228; other 9,694.

See here the complete statistical report from the LA Secretary of State.

Early voting will end tomorrow, Saturday, November 9, 6:00 PM.

Conservatives Add to LA House/Senate Majority

10/13/2019

From The Hayride
By Scott McKay

The House might have started with 63 Republican seats after qualifying. After last night’s primary, that number is more like 68. (of 105 seats total)

Republicans now control not just a supermajority in the Senate, but 27 of the 39 seats. That gives them a vote to spare beyond the two-thirds.

There is now a very real possibility that Sharon Hewitt, one of the most conservative members of the body, could be in a position to claim the Senate presidency – and coming from eight years of John Alario’s corrupt RINO misrule, that’s something akin to a cloudless dawn after an extended stormy night.

See here the complete article.

Bill to Divide Judicial District Deferred in Committee

05/22/2019

A bill that would have divided the Third Judicial District (Lincoln, Union Parishes) into two independent judicial districts was involuntarily deferred in a senate committee yesterday.

The vote was unanimous.

Senate Bill 202 would have created a new district attorney’s office for Union Parish only.

The bill provided for an election, and would require that the plan be approved by voters in both parishes prior to implementation.

Presently, Lincoln and Union Parishes share a district attorney and three judges.

The new district would have allocated one judge for the new district, and two for Lincoln Parish.

Senator Mike Walsworth (District 33) sponsored the bill, and spoke for it.

During the hearing, several committee members spoke against the bill, citing costs. Newly elected Judge Bruce Hampton was seen in the audience, but did not testify.

See here the video of the hearing.

The bill was considered immediately after the committee convened, so the pertinent testimony is at the beginning.

Very Small Change in Sumlin Case

03/27/2019

Yesterday afternoon’s hearing on former Louisiana State Representative William Sumlin’s 3 1/2 year-old case of indecent behavior with juvenile(s) saw a slight change from the other many times the issue was delayed.

Sumlin’s attorney, Monroe’s LaValle Salomon said he was withdrawing a motion to strike that he had filed early in the case. He added that there were several other motions pending that needed resolution, and that once again he was requesting a delay.

Chief Felony Prosecutor Lewis Jones had no objection to the delay, and Division B Judge Tommy Rogers granted the request.

We will be at the next hearing to report what happens in the people’s Third Judicial District Court at 1:30 PM, June 25, 2019.

Turner wins Handily in House 12 Race

02/24/2019

Local LA House Race Finance Reports

02/20/2019

The campaign for Louisiana House District 12 has an interesting money angle.

One candidate has raised and spent over $75 thousand, while the other has raised less than $5 thousand, as of the last reporting period.

Chris Turner, a Ruston businessman, has filed three campaign finance reports as of this morning.

His 1/24/19 report showed contributions of about $52 thousand, with expenditures of around $9.6 thousand.

Among the significant contributors ($1 thousand or more) were:

Louisiana Bankers Association
NorthPac
B&C Archery, Ruston
Courtesy Automotive, Ruston
Steven Davison, Ruston
John Emory, Jr, Choudrant
Bill Hogan, Ruston
Kay Malone, Ruston
Duke Marcus, Ruston
William McConnell, Ruston
Ann Mills, Choudrant
Pamela Stewart, Ruston
The Lincoln Agency
Connie Turner, Ruston
William Turner, Ruston

The most significant expenditure for this report was $2600 with the Bautsch Group, a Baton Rouge political consultant.

Turner’s 2/12/19 report showed over $11 thousand in contributions, $25 thousand in personal contributions or loans from the candidate to the campaign, and just over $27 thousand in expenditures.

Significant contributions include:

Todd Davison, Ruston
Forestry Political Action Council
Danny Graham
LHBA Political Action Council

The pace of expenditures picked up on this report, to include:

Ben Christmas Catering
Facebook
Holbrook Multimedia
LHD Consulting
LR3 Consulting
Remington Research Group

A report filed today shows significant contributions from several political action committees:

ABC Pelican Pac
Bishop Pac
HOSPac
HOSTPac
LAMP
LOGPAC
Lousiana Realtors Pac

Jake Halley, the other candidate, reported on 1/24/19 $3500 in contributions and about $1400 in expenditures.

Halley is from Farmerville.

The one significant contribution was Bynes Mechanical of West Monroe.

The 2/13/19 report shows $600 in contributions and about $2500 in expenditures.

Significant expenditures include $1,188 to Associate Business Printing, and $1000 to Tommy Carr of Farmerville for event planning.