Phil Haney, the 12-year district attorney for Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes, will testify on his own behalf again Thursday when he appears before the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board in New Orleans to address allegations that he may have violated ethical codes when he took on a 2007 civil case through his private practice.
According to The Teche News' website, the 16th Judicial District attorney, who testified in February at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse for a Disciplinary Board committee hearing that later found no direct violations of attorney rules of conduct, is now facing the full disciplinary board for an official ruling that could take up to 30 days.
As IND Monthly reported in February: Haney’s ethical charges stem from a complaint filed by former state Sen. Troy Hebert, Haney’s longtime public rival who now heads the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. Haney was retained in a civil case by Stephanie Provost, who was injured in a boating accident in which her boyfriend was the owner and driver of the boat. According to Haney, he was unaware when he took the case that her boyfriend was issued two citations by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in relation to the boating accident. Haney maintains that when his office learned of the criminal charges against Provost’s boyfriend, he immediately recused his office from handling the criminal case against her boyfriend and forwarded the case to the state Attorney General’s Office.
His contingency fee for representing Provost was $20,000.
Of the six cases on Thursday’s disciplinary board docket, Haney’s is the only one without a recommended sanction or suspension by the hearing committee, The Teche News reports. But if the full Disciplinary Board goes against the committee’s recommendations, the district attorney could face probation, suspension or even permanent disbarment from practicing law in Louisiana.
If either party in Haney’s ethics case decides to appeal the Disciplinary Board’s final ruling, the Louisiana Supreme Court is charged with hearing the appeal.
MAY 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
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.