With his “Why I am a Republican” video now inching toward 1 million hits on YouTube and spiteful hatemongers like Rush Limbaugh singing his praises, state Sen. Elbert Guillory has more ‘splainin’ to do — this time it ain’t got nothin' to do with going off on Democrats and liberals.
And so far, he’s not doing a very good job of it.
|KATC's Erin Steuber and state Sen. Elbert Guillory
Earlier this week KATC-TV3 reported the Opelousas senator's potential conflict of interest in representing a woman who filed suit against St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz. The potential conflict comes into play because Guillory and Guidroz are more than just pals (as you might imagine is the case in such a small community); they support each other’s candidacies via financial contributions.
After receiving the complaint — and somehow confirming that Guillory is being investigated by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (the board itself does not confirm investigations) — KATC’s Erin Steuber looked into Janice Goudeau-Ardoin’s claim that she hired Guillory in 2008 to represent her in several lawsuits hoping to prove her mother was murdered. One of those suits was against Sheriff Guidroz.
|Sen. Elbert Guillory claims he did not represent Janice Goudeau-Ardoin in her suit against St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, but minutes from a 2009 hearing in the case indicate he was "present" on her behalf.
Steuber discovered that, despite Guillory insisting he did not rep the woman in the suit against Guidroz, the court documents indicate that he appeared in court on her behalf in this very suit. The court document actually indicates that Guillory was “present” as her attorney — that means in the flesh.
Steuber also learned that the case was thrown out in 2009 in part because the wrong name, Dana Marie Fontenot Mire, was listed on the second page of the petition. That client’s name, and the exact verbiage, is found on a separate case, also against the sheriff. The clerk of court told KATC Guillory was the attorney in that case against Guidroz too.
Still, Guillory is sticking to his story that he would not have participated in any lawsuit filed against the sheriff. According to Guillory, it all boils down to this: “an attempt to slur my name by some politicians who are some of the most egregious slimeballs on the face of this earth.” Steuber says he would not elaborate on the alleged smear campaign.
“This is always a problem in state and local government,” Pearson Cross, the head of UL Lafayette’s Political Science Department, told KATC. “And that is, the ethical line between having to represent clients, make money, having to represent the people against the interest of your clients. It’s a very murky area and it seems the senator wandered into some of that murkiness. ... Do you really have your client’s interest at heart when it’s so clearly contradictory to your own interests? I think that’s the core in this case.”
But it was Guidroz who didn’t mince words in a followup interview with Steuber: “I don’t begrudge Senator Guillory for filing suit against me as the sheriff; that’s his job, he’s an attorney. But if you did do it, admit it, and don’t create a story about it.”
Read KATC’s original report here
and view the followup video here