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.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Pot industry gearing up for holiday shoppers; uncertainty in Ferguson; Patriots' winning streak and more national and international news for Monday, November 24, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.