A pair of elected members of the St. Landry Parish School Board are facing lengthy prison sentences and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for allegedly offering their votes in favor of a candidate for superintendent in exchange for $5,000. U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced the indictments against Quincy Richard and John Miller late Thursday afternoon after a federal grand jury issued them.
According to a press release detailing the allegations:
United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that two St. Landry Parish School Board members were indicted by a federal grand jury for one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery.
A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment late yesterday afternoon charging Quincy Richard, Sr., 50, and John Miller, 71, both of Opelousas, La., with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery.
According to the indictment, Richard and Miller are two of 13 members serving on the St. Landry Parish School Board (SLPSB). SLPSB is responsible for advertising, interviewing and selecting by majority vote, the position of Superintendent of St. Landry Parish Schools. After the individual is selected to be hired as Superintendent, the SLPSB approves the salary contract of the Superintendent. From on or about mid July 2012 until September 24, 2012, the defendants conspired together to obtain money for their vote concerning the position of Superintendent of St. Landry Parish Schools. As a result of the conspiracy, on September 24, 2012, in return for their vote, Richard and Miller each accepted $5,000 from a Superintendent candidate who was cooperating with the FBI.
If convicted, both defendants face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count and up to 10 years in prison for the bribery count. Both defendants are also subject to a $250,000 fine on each count.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alexandria Resident Agency and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Howard C. Parker.