Rollin’ on the River

Part three

September 17, 2018

It’s easy to understand why a dirty cop would need to lean on illiterate (trained liars) to build a case. I mean, dirty cops have to make a living just like everyone else and when the truth doesn’t work out, which is often the case with dirty cops, they can get paid while they entrap a personal enemy or frame someone just to get the credit for closing a case. It’s all in a day’s work for a dirty cop.

Attorneys involved with this chapter tell me “It’s just the way it is. Nothing we can do about it.”

Right now, the illiterates of Part Three are fumbling with their dictionaries and trying to learn how to write full sentences while the dirty cops in Vermilion cheer them on. Everyone is busy collecting irrelevant pieces of information that can be presented out of context beside ridiculous lies with the hope to destroy my credibility. You understand, this website is a painful thorn in the sides of a lot of dirty cops in Vermilion Parish. As long as they can train the liars to stick to the same story they have a chance at exacting their revenge by destroying everything meaningful to me. It’s definitely personal now.  Their tactics of deceit worked well last time when I didn’t bother to defend myself. However, times is changin’ and the dirty cops should have known better than to trust illiterate (trained liars) to handle their dirty work.  

As in my case, or anyone elses, if you do not defend yourself against accusations of criminal behavior a majority of onlookers will assume that you are guilty. It never enters anyone’s mind that it is possible the accused was dealing with chemo treatments and just didn’t give a damn about any of the ridiculous accusations against them. In the end, no matter who it is, if a defense is never presented then the accused is automatically found guilty in the court of public opinion.

In Louisiana, mere accusations can be presented to a Grand Jury who investigates all of the evidence against the defendant. If the Grand Jury believes that a criminal case can be proven in court then they will hand down an indictment. A Grand Jury indictment means the defendant WILL BE TRIED for the accusations against them. The defendant has no options for getting the case dismissed and, unfortunately, after an indictment is handed down, the court of public opinion almost always assigns guilt to the defendant. After all, a Grand Jury has already seen all of the evidence, right?

NOPE. Not even close.

The Grand Jury only sees the evidence against the defendant. The jury does not allow the defendant to submit any evidence in his defense. The defendant may be asked by the Grand Jury to testify but he does so without a lawyer – lawyers always tell their clients not to testify. And, so, the Grand Jury makes their decision to indict without ever hearing any evidence from the defense.

“It is often said that a ham sandwich can be indicted which couldn’t be more true,” says Thibodaux defense attorney, Matt Ory. “Fair or not, the truth of the matter is that [Grand Jury’s] are not very relevant. I pay little attention to indictments.”

First of all, unlike trial juries, there is no jury selection process plus the names of the Jurors are never shared publically. Only a handful of officials take part in the proceedings, usually the district attorney, the sheriff and a couple of folks from the prosecutor’s office. When the grand jury convenes, they only do so in secret.

Peter Scharf, a criminologist at LSU says “The problem with a grand jury is the prosecutor presents his or her case, but there’s no defense representation.” He went on to say “In [South Louisiana Parishes] one of the problems is how close people are, that a grand jury might include cousins, relatives and people who know each other. So there’s the question of objectivity.

“The thing that gets tricky in an indictment is not a statement of guilt,” Scharf added. “When you put the facts of a case before an actual [trial] jury and present the case from both sides, facts fall apart.”

In most cases, a grand jury indictment is used for serious felony charges that could carry life sentences. But not always, especially in Louisiana where political foes are willing to weaponize the judicial process.

Three years ago, during the 2015 Sheriff’s elections, the Lafayette City Marshal, Brian Pope, was pulled into a fiasco over a public records request made by Christiaan Mader of the now-defunct IND newspaper. Christiaan requested all of Brian Popes emails that included words like “Campaign” or “Sheriff” or “Garber”. After six months of huffing and puffing from the IND Newspaper, Christiaan’s public records request blossomed into a Grand Jury indictment against Brian Pope.

Brian was indicted on seven counts of malfeasance in office including perjury after his emails were pulled from the Lafayette Consolidated Government back-up server. A year later, Brian Pope was ordered to perform community service after the Judge found him in contempt of court. Brian appealed and then the media accused him of thumbing his nose at Justice and putting himself above the law. The spin was in until-

August 13, 2018, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal struck down the community service order because community service is NOT an authorized penalty for contempt of court. The Judge who ordered the community service in error ended up thanking Pope’s legal team for asking the higher court to check his work.

And finally, on September 24, 2018, Brian Pope will go to trial for the indictments that were the result of his 2015 email fiasco with the IND Newspaper. There is expected to be intense media presence at the trial, especially now, after the Grand Jury slapped Pope with seven additional counts of malfeasance in office two weeks before his trial date.

This time the indictments are regarding Marshal Brian Pope’s method of allocating funds inside the Lafayette Marshal’s Office.  Remember, the Grand Jury has not heard a word of Pope’s defense. You have got to believe that the Marshal will have a budget with numbers that back up his choices – the prosecutors can argue all day long about whether or not the numbers are reasonable, but the law says the funds can be used for office expenses and that means that the City Marshal, Brian Pope, can choose how to disburse the funds to run his office. Sounds like it’ll be a long and expensive argument between court officers and their brothers in blue. “When you put the facts of a [Grand Jury Indictment] before an actual [trial] jury and present the case from both sides, facts fall apart.”

Remember, even a ham sandwich can be indicted in Louisiana.

Maybe it would be more accurate if the title was changed from Grand Jury to Grand Prosecutors or maybe Grand Accusers because that’s really all it is. Sadly, the news of a Grand Jury indictment is almost always interpreted as a guilty verdict because the court of public opinion believes that anything called a JURY must be impartial while weighing both sides of a case.

Hopefully Brian Pope can get a fair trial in Lafayette after the timing of his latest indictments. It sure will be expensive to move the trial to another parish, although, it does not seem that fiduciary responsibility has been given any thought regarding the indictments against the City Marshal, Brian Pope.

Honest question here: What do you think Brian Pope would be doing today if Chad Leger had won the 2015 sheriff election instead of Mark Garber? The answer is a simple one and it says a lot about what these Grand Jury indictments are made of. (Would you like fries with that ham sandwich?)

It’s hard to believe but the campaigns for the next Sheriff elections have already begun. Of course, Mark Garber is running for re-election in Lafayette Parish. I suspect Mark has a good chance of running unopposed and then in 2020 he will be in a prime position to run for District Attorney.  I haven’t heard if Louis Ackal will run for a fourth term but Roberta Boudreaux has already began campaigning for Sheriff of Iberia Parish. In Vermilion Parish there are always a lot of rumors, but it doesn’t look like Sheriff Mike Couvillon is ready to retire. You understand, Mike’s employee/wife, deputy Sonya Couvillon, does not yet qualify for a full retirement. Her colleagues believe that she keeps her job only because she’s married to the Sheriff and if that’s true, Mike needs to remain in office for her job security. I have already seen the bumper stickers that say BROUSSARD for Sheriff 2019, but honestly, Lance Broussard has worked under Sheriff Couvillon since day one. If he didn’t have the testicular fortitude to run against Couvillon before now, then I find it unlikely that Lance Broussard will ever be sheriff until Mike Couvillon decides to leave.

Although, I did see a Breaking News Alert online that made a tongue and cheek reference regarding Capt. Broussard’s campaign. When I tracked down the source of the Breaking News Alert it was coming from ‘Channel 45’, a site where people post anonymously, usually pornographic in nature. BEWARE: I had to clear out my cache and delete all of my cookies after I clicked on the site. If I were law enforcement I would have had that post removed immediately but it’s already been up for nearly a year.

There is one other election in south Louisiana that holds some amusement value for me along with the readers of this website, and that would be the Police Chief election for the village of Maurice. Warren Rost has served as chief of police since 1982 so this election is a big deal for the village. Maurice is located along Highway 167 half way between Lafayette and Abbeville and is famous for its speed traps. Maurice is also the same village that the illiterates of Part One said was the destination of a meth-ring delivery - a delivery they claimed was being protected by a dirty cop who worked for Chief Tony Hardy in Abbeville. Most of the Hardy brothers, known as the Hardy Boys, have worked as officers under Chief Rost at one time or another.

With Chief Rost retiring the village of Maurice will vote for their next Chief of Police on November, 6, 2018. The voters have three individuals to choose from, they are Guy Nerren, Neil Arsement, and Kelly BROUSSARD Hardy.

Guy Nerren is currently the Assistant Chief of Police for Maurice working closely with Chief Warren Rost. He has over twenty years of law enforcement experience including working as the VPSO Deputy in Charge of RODI Power security under Sheriff Raywood LeMaire. Guy has been with the Maurice Police Department for twelve years and has worked beside the Hardy Boys as an officer since the beginning. The villagers of Maurice have trust in Guy Nerren and he’s the favorite to win the election.

Neil Arsement says he’s the only candidate that actually lives inside the village of Maurice. He has owned several local businesses and wants to bring his administrative skills to the Maurice Police Department. Neil understands business owners’ concerns to protect their investments and he promises to run the police station efficiently.

Kelly BROUSSARD Hardy wants to emphasize the name BROUSSARD because the Hardy name has not done well on the election circuit lately. Besides, nobody wants to cross Peedoo BROUSSARD’s family as in, Kelly BROUSSARD Hardy, it’s beneficial to throw that name around. In fact, Lance Broussard- another PeeDooism, didn’t even bother putting his first name on his campaign bumper sticker. Afterall, doesn’t BROUSSARD for Sheriff say all there is to say?

Sorry – I digress - besides, Dale Broussard told me he was running again for Sheriff in 2019, so, maybe those bumper stickers are his.

Kelly Broussard brings the voters a packaged deal that includes her husband, Detective David Hardy of the Abbeville Police Department.  Regarding her take on the job duties, Kelly believes that the office of Maurice Chief of Police is primarily an administrative job. She has said over and over that she will dedicate her time to writing and applying for grant money.

From a practical perspective- right now - the Maurice Police say they are currently investigating six separate break-ins throughout the village and the investigations are happening inside three different subdivisions. Who should you call? The businessman? The Administrator? Or the cop?

Make your choice for Maurice Chief of Police

PLEASE vote on November 6, 2018.

Next Chapter: Rolling On The River  Part Four

Short Cuts:

Rolling on the River: Part One   8/2018 Believe me, it was never my plan to include any of Todd Travasos' drama in my Story but that all changed after the Abbeville Police Department arrested him on his birthday, October 26, 2016.

Rolling on the River: Part Two   8/2018To be honest, I really was in a bind after Chief Hardy completely ignored Troy’s threats of terror. Here I was, 2200 miles away with the name and address of a self-proclaimed Cajun Terrorist with NOBODY to report to.

 Rolling on the River: Part Three   8/2018Honest question here: What do you think Brian Pope would be doing today if Chad Leger had won the 2015 sheriff election instead of Mark Garber? The answer is a simple one and it says a lot about what these Grand Jury indictments are made of. (Would you like fries with that ham sandwich?)

Rolling on the River: Part Four   8/2018 The jury found Pope completely innocent of that exaggerated charge, too, and then gave a collective eye-roll toward the prosecution, like, give us a break.

Choose your Truth: Episode One   5/2019 After Police Chief Tony Hardy threatened the whistle blowers I was forced to put the Primeaux chapter on ice until the dirty cops in Abbeville settled down.  I didn’t mention the name Primeaux to one single person until August, 2018.

Choose your Truth: Episode Two   5/2019 That day, when Johnny showed up ten minutes late to his pre-trial hearing, the 15th JDC was $800 thousand in the red and they had to lay off half of their public defenders.  “We are going to be in a situation that I think will be near catastrophic,” said DA Stutes. "Justice delayed is justice denied."

Choose your Truth: Episode Three   5/2019 They were tripping on some really good heroin when they left the motel. Dereck called and told them to pick up some bleach on their way home from McDonalds. When they returned to the trailer, Tyler was gone.