St. Landry Parish School Board member Quincy Richard Sr. was found guilty Tuesday by a jury in federal court on various bribery charges.
According to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s Office, when Richard’s two-day trial came to an end Tuesday, the jury rendered its verdict after deliberating for about an hour, finding Richard guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery.
Richard’s conviction comes on the heels of his co-conspirator and fellow school board member John Miller’s guilty plea in July.
According to court documents, Richard and Miller conspired to profit from their vote and influence as school members on the selection process for a new school system superintendent by offering their support to former board member and superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere.
Little did they know that Cassimere was working with the feds.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
[Richard and Miller] met with Cassimere on September 24, 2012 at the Quarters Restaurant in Opelousas and received $5,000 each in return for their votes. They made it clear that Cassimere had also secured their services, efforts, influence and due diligence to secure the votes of other members of the school board for Cassimere’s candidacy. Richard added that Cassimere could also recoup his $10,000 bribe by adding that amount to his salary request. Richard and Miller instructed Cassimere on how to make and justify a meritorious salary request above the amount listed for the superintendent’s salary as advertised.
This conversation ... had been under FBI video and audio surveillance. After the defendants exited the restaurant, they were confronted by the FBI who recovered the $5,000 payments.
“This case was about illegally selling votes,” says Finley in a prepared statement. “Quincy Richard was thinking about himself, not about the children, the community or the school system. The jury listened to the witnesses, reviewed the evidence and justice was served. Without citizens who come forward, bribery like this would corrode our public servants. This is a great step for the School Board. I hope they can now move forward and take care of the educational work that needs to be addressed for the people of Opelousas.”
Richard now faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.
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