The video of state Rep. Bobby Badon’s OWI arrest in January 2010 has gone viral, thanks to The Advocate’s public records request for it. In a story published Tuesday, The Advocatereveals that Badon “dropped the names of several high-ranking law enforcement officials, told the investigating trooper that ‘I’m not just a regular citizen’ and pleaded for ‘a little leniency.’”
Composed and professional despite Badon’s pleas, State Trooper James Lazard is shown pulling the Carencro Democrat over about 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2010. Lazard’s narrative, also obtained by The Advocate, notes:
“Immediately upon coming into contact with Mr. Badon, I observed obvious signs of intoxication, which included the strong odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from his breath as he spoke with slurred speech, glassy bloodshot eyes, and unsure balance as he rocked back and forth,” Lazard wrote in the report.
The newspaper submitted a public records request to State Police for a copy of the video after 15th Judicial District Judge Herman Clause ruled last week that there was no basis for Lazard’s traffic stop that led to Badon’s first-offense DWI charge. Clause agreed with Badon’s defense that his wide left turn, which is what Lazard stopped him for, was in compliance with state law.
The ruling means all evidence gathered after the stop is inadmissible in court, the newspaper noted, including the breathalyzer test showing 0.125 percent.
The tape shows Badon, who admits he’s been drinkin, asking several times for an escort home because his house is just down the street and says twice that he was out at a steak dinner with St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, Bobby Dupre and Ray Bellow.
Early in the tape, when the officer asks him not to reach into his pocket, Badon says, “I was going to call my chief [Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout], but I don’t have to. I hope we can handle it diplomatically.”
He then tells Lazard that he probably could not pass a field sobriety test. “We all kind of guilty of it,” Badon says.
“In my situation it would be tough for me to have the news media on there,” Badon tells Lazard.
The Advocate notes that Badon’s attorney, Barry Sallinger, is not happy with the release of the tape. Read more on that here and view the video here.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
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.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.