Monday, July 13, 2009
The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended permanant disbarment of a former judge of the Civil District Court of Orleans Parish. The judge had been convicted of conspiracy to commit public payroll fraud and claimed that the disciplinary system did not have jurisdiction over him as a former judge. The board disagreed, noting that the Supreme Court had granted a motion for interim suspension and had thus resolved any question as to jurisdiction. The bar charges alleged that:
As found by the Louisiana Supreme Court, the Respondent's misconduct included personally selling tickets to a fund raising event for his reelection campaign; requiring members of his court staff to sell tickets to the event; instructing his staff to deliver tickets to lawyers and law firms on court time and to prioritize their campaign work over their court work; telling staff that if they were unwilling to do what he asked, he would find people to replace them who were more enthusuastic; and lying to the Judiciary Commission during the course of its investigation.
The complainant was a court reporter who had been terminated for her refusal to sell her allotment of tickets and run the judge's personal errands. The judge was unaware that she had audiotapes that incriminated him. (Mike Frisch)