Joseph “J.B.” Cormier is the only challenger Earl “Nickey”
Picard has ever faced in his 24 years as City Marshal. The two first squared
off in 1996, a race that the incumbent Picard won with 74 percent of the vote.
On Friday, Cormier qualified to once again challenge Picard for the seat.
Cormier stresses he is now more experienced and prepared for the job. He also
suggests its time for a changing of the guard. “I’m prepared to re-energize
that office,” Cormier says. “Every day the criminal justice system is changing
and we must change with it.” He lists better coordination with the sheriff’s
office and city police, as well as increased transparency and openness as his
top priorities for the marshal’s office. Cormier is a 30-year veteran of law
enforcement, who retired as chief of detectives for city police in 1987.
Cormier, 61, also spent four years with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office
and nine year’s with the state Attorney General’s Office. He now works as a
private investigator and consultant.
Picard says he is running for re-election on a strong
record and that the City Marshal's office has been distinguished nationally under his watch. Last year, the
office became the first in the state to earn a Recognition Award from the
Commission on Accreditations for Law Enforcement Agencies. Picard, 76, has 55
years of law enforcement experience, beginning as a state trooper in 1953. He
served as Lafayette’s first city court administrator from 1980 to 1984.
Contrary to rumor, Picard says he has not been contemplating retirement and
still feels he is the best qualified to run the marshal’s office. “I have no
intention of retiring,” he says. “I still have the desire to serve the public. As long as my health holds up and we continue to make progressive strides
with this office, I hope to continue to do so.”
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.