JT Lagniappe for March 2, 2019

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JT read the recent Attorney General’s Opinion to the Clarence Chief of Police about the town’s mayor interference with his department. (See story in today’s paper.) Basically, the AG opinion said, in a February 11 opinion letter, the mayor could not do what he did in reference to the police department…cancelling the insurance on police cars, dismissing the police department employees, terminating the Police Chief and refusing to pay them. In fact, the mayor could be sued forcing him to abide by the law or the mayor could even face malfeasance in office charges.

That’s pretty much what everyone except Clarence Mayor Tommy Evans knew. Some of the issues with the mayor are now mute in light of the fact the city was placed under a state appointed fiscal administrator and the mayor has resigned. According to state law, JT knows that a mayor and even councilmen are not personally liable for their actions…so long as those actions were made in good faith.

In light of the AG opinion and information that came to light when our own District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington took the mayor to court, we don’t think the “good faith” argument will fly. Does that mean Mayor Evans, since he resigned, will not be held liable for his actions? JT sure hopes not because that would set a bad precedence.

JT can see it now…a public body on their way out doing what the heck they want without regard to anyone. Oh wait…bad example…cause it sounds a lot like term limited legislators.

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One of the beauties this time of year is the blooming Saucer Magnolias, aka Japanese magnolias. JT has noticed we have quite a few of them around town and they are just beautiful. They are the first to bloom…even before they have leaves… in the late winter producing a stunning display of purple-pink flowers when everything else around is still gray and brown. But man do they drop their large blooms in a hurry. JT notices the base around several trees in town have a lot of raking ahead for the owners.

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JT has seen the Diocese in Shreveport, Alexandria and Baton Rouge published list releasing the names of priests with credible accusations of sexually abusing children. The names go back 50 years and many of the priests have died. And remember these are only priests with reported allegations.

JT reads where the Diocese of Lafayette is catching some flack for not yet releasing their list. It’s no surprise to JT since the Lafayette Diocese is where the first case of a priest being tried for sexually abusing children was held. The case, which originated in Henry, LA (near Abbeville) was in the early 1970s and involved Father Gilbert Gauthe. There was an excellent article in the Times Picayune a week of so ago about the original case and how the church’s legal team responded as well as how the church reacted.

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JT went in for a regular checkup feeling fine…but left in worse shape than he went in. Apparently, he enjoyed the holidays a little more than he realized…or the scales at the doctor’s office are way off. JT’s clothes don’t feel that tight, but according to the scales they should. The announcement that JT has gained more than a few pounds sent his blood pressure higher than normal and then the doctor uttered those awful words … “At your age”…when JT was describing some of his ailments. JT thought about changing doctors, but realized he doesn’t want a second option…it could be worse.

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