The lawyers representing Lafayette real estate developer Glenn Stewart — perhaps swayed by his recent conviction for simple battery — filed a motion last week calling for a dismissal of their client’s civil lawsuit against Lafayette Consolidated Government.
The motion calls for the lawsuit (and an appeal of the misdemeanor conviction) to be “dismissed with prejudice,” and was received by the civil records division of the Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court’s Office in an Aug. 29 fax submitted by Stewart’s Baton Rouge-based attorneys, Christopher Alexander and Stephen Spring II.
Stewart’s lawsuit is the result of an altercation during Mardi Gras 2012, when he was arrested by the Lafayette Police Department for throwing a knockout punch to the face of mother/school teacher Erin Fitzgerald — the daughter/stepdaughter, respectively, of IND Monthly co-publishers Steve May and Cherry Fisher May.
That punch landed Stewart in the courtroom of 15th Judicial District Judge John Trahan, who in June convicted the former radiation oncologist of misdemeanor simple battery and sentenced him to a six month suspended jail sentence, a $500 fine and a year of supervised probation. Trahan’s sentence also requires Stewart complete a class in anger-management.
A photo taken by a witness shows Glenn Stewart in the act of launching a punch into the face of Erin Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's stepfather, John St. Julien, can be seen behind them tussling with one of Stewart's employees. Stewart claimed in a police statement on the day of the attack that he accidently punched Fitzgerald while trying to hit St. Julien — a statement Judge John Trahan flatly called "a lie." The scissors Stewart later claimed Fitzgerald brandished as a weapon are in her right hand, held casually with the blades palmed and the plastic handles exposed.
The lawsuit argues that Stewart’s “good name” was tarnished by the 2012 arrest, and claims a conspiracy hatched by top LCG officials — City-Parish President Joey Durel, Chief Administrative Office Dee Stanley and Police Chief Jim Craft — led to his “false imprisonment.”
Other damages allegedly suffered by Stewart, according to the suit, include “past, present and future medical expenses” arising from “physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and anxiety, lost wages and diminished earning capacity, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, embarrassment and humiliation, loss of consortium and physical disability.“
On Tuesday, 15th Judicial District Judge Marilyn Castle granted the motion from Stewart’s lawyers calling for the suit’s dismissal. Also granted during Tuesday’s hearing was a motion from LCG’s attorney Michael Corry calling for sanctions against Stewart’s lawyers (read more about them here). Corry has 10 days to submit an affidavit listing his attorney’s fees, and according to the clerk’s office, that will determine the amount in court sanctions levied against attorneys Alexander and Spring.
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JUL 23 This post on Mashable says Louisiana is poised to be the next (and better) Hollywood. Sure, blogger Travis Andrews is talking Louisiana in general, but the focus really is on New Orleans. And that's fine, because if NOLA and Hollywood get into a ambiance/food/style/crazy contest, we like NOLA's chances.
JUL 23 Here's New York Magazine's profile of Edwin Edwards, a well-written, thoughtful (and still unvarnished) look at Louisiana's most famous felon. There's a lot of history, but author Mark Jacobson doesn't get bogged down in pedantic rehashes here. It's a really good read.
JUL 23 Tom Aswell turns over his blog to Fred Aldrich for this post, in which Aldrich offers his critique of State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's recent radio appearance. During that visit, Edmonson commented upon the 11th-hour bill that added $30K to his annual retirement income. Spoiler alert: Aldrich was not impressed.
JUL 23 Blogger CB Forgotston has more on the Edmonson retirement issue in this post. This time, he's trying to ascertain exactly who offered the 11th-hour amendment that added $30K to the State Police chief's annual retirement check. Six legislators are claiming that a Senate staffer stuck it in, CB says.
JUL 23 Choice Foundation, which owns and operates charter schools, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing Bobby Jindal of overstepping his bounds in cancelling Common Core, the Washington Post reports here. The lawsuit (there's a link to it here) alleges that Jindal does not have the authority to remove the curriculum from Louisiana.
JUL 23 Here's an interesting perspective on the 2015 governor's race from Picayune reporter Julia O'Donoghue. She's looking at David Vitter, John Bel Edwards and Jay Dardenne. But instead of looking at their differences, she's examining their similarities.
JUL 23 Here are the first jewels unearthed from the Vault, a new database of public records that The Lens is making available. In this post, The Lens is taking a look at what municipal employees are paid over in NOLA. There's some pretty interesting stuff here.
JUL 23 Blogger Stephen Sabludowsky is attempting to clear away some of the smoke that Bobby Jindal's been blowing about our economy. The press releases and "presidential campaign claims" of Jindal notwithstanding, the outlook is not that rosy, Sabludowsky says. He's got some comment here from the head of GNO Inc. as well.
JUL 22 This is a fascinating piece in the Picayune about the murder of a doctor in her St. Charles Avenue home 50 years ago. It's fascinating because of the mysteries and myths that have swirled around the incident for those decades, and because of the possible connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There are a lot of interesting names in here, including Ochsner and Marcello, and as usual the comments below the story are nearly as entertaining as the story itself.
JUL 22 The Ragin' Cajuns are "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but UL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
JUL 22 Columnist Stephanie Grace says Gov. Bobby Jindal may be meeting with state education officials (hey - you mean HIS education officials, don't you, Steph?) but it is clear he's not looking for a solution in the Common Core fracas. Bobby wants an issue he can take on the road, and this one seems to be it, she says.
JUL 22 Here's a love letter from New York Daily News' Alex Palmer to Louisiana. In some ways it is the typical tourism article (with pronunciation guides and food definitions) but in another way it goes beyond that to list lesser-known spots to visit for food or tours.
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