Former state legislator will earn $36,000 per year, plus meals and travel.
Ex-state Rep. Rickey Hardy’s unemployment was short-lived. Hardy, defeated in November for the District 44 seat by Vincent Pierre, was appointed to the state’s Board of Pardons by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The board is responsible for making recommendations to the governor regarding applications for clemency and pardons of state prisoners, but the governor does not have to act on its recommendations.
Hardy is one of four board members earning $36,000 per year; the board’s chair earns $42,000. All five are appointed by the governor, with one member named from nominations submitted by any victims’ rights advocacy organization recognized as a nonprofit by the Internal Revenue Service.
As a state rep, Hardy earned $16,800 annually, plus per diem for days when the Legislature was in session and for committee service. His pay and reimbursements totaled about $32,000 in 2011.
By law, board members also qualify for insurance and retirement benefits.
The board meets twice a month in Baton Rouge, but the former legislator who spent much of the past four years cracking down on white-collar corruption said Tuesday morning he will devote his full attention to the post, spending his time gathering information on cases to help weigh his decisions. “I’m going to devote my time, 110 percent, to make sure we make the right decisions. We are dealing with people’s lives and we are dealing with the victims. It’s an emotional situation for families and victims,” he says.
Hardy also pledges to study ways to lower the state’s incarceration rate, which is the highest in the country. “If you think education is expensive, try incarceration,” he says. The former state rep will find support in that effort from Blueprint Louisiana, which in September made adopting “smart on crime” reforms one of its top five recommendations to support during this legislative session.
Blueprint’s research found that one out of every 55 adults in Louisiana is in prison compared with one in 100 adults nationwide. The nonpartisan reform effort, backed by community and business leaders across the state, says the population in Louisiana prisons has doubled over the past 20 years, with 40,000 adults incarcerated and another 69,000 people on probation or parole. Only 37 percent of offenders in Louisiana have been convicted of violent crimes, and the average sentence for a drug-related crime is almost 10 years.
Meanwhile, Louisiana taxpayers are doling out $700 million to operate prisons, most of which comes from the state general fund. The state spends more every year to keep people in prison, but the overall crime rate is not going down, Blueprint's stats show. “The cost of incarceration means we are not matching our resources with our priorities,” Blueprint wrote in its recommendations.
So far, little is being done to address the issue in the state, especially as it pertains to non-violent offenders. “Over the past year, the reinvigorated Louisiana Sentencing Commission — composed of district attorneys, judges, sheriffs, legislators, victims, and other public safety stakeholders — unanimously approved a set of policy recommendations to the Louisiana Legislature for consideration in the 2011 regular session,” Blueprint wrote in its September report. “The recommendations were based on a careful examination of prison population data and evidence-based corrections practices. Yet the proposals faced an uphill battle at the Capitol, ultimately achieving only limited success.”
The governor’s office announced Monday that Hardy will serve with Leonard “Pop” Hataway of Dry Prong, ex-sheriff of Grant Parish and former president of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association; Henry “Tank” Powell of Ponchatoula, the owner of Powell & Associates Insurance and a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives; and Mert Smiley of Saint Amant, a former member of the state House and owner of Smiley Enterprises Incorporated. The press release did not mention the fifth member.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.