Faced with a fusillade of incriminations, presumably from supporters of state Rep. Rickey Hardy, Vincent Pierre has addressed, point-by-point, accusations leveled against him in the comment section at theind.com and elsewhere regarding his character.
Within an hour after our June 28 blog, “Pierre announces bid for state House 44,” was posted, the attacks on Pierre began. He was accused of welshing on his child support payments, of bearing a child out of wedlock and resigning from a previous job at the Louisiana Lottery amid sexual-harassment allegations.
Pierre denies them all. He acknowledges that he is separated from his wife, but maintains they enjoy a healthy relationship centered around the rearing of their sons. While documents from the 15th Judicial Court in Lafayette from last December show that Pierre did in fact fall behind on his $1,400-per-month child support obligation, he says he has caught up and that he and his wife, who are separated but not divorced, “have an amicable financial agreement concerning the welfare of our children and we’re both acting in accordance with that agreement,” adding that “we’re great friends and she’s in full support of my running for office.”
Pierre also denies the allegations about out-of-wedlock paternity — a personal issue this newspaper is loath to broach. “I have three beautiful boys — Joshua, Kyle and Luke — and they’re all for my current wife; that’s the extent of my fatherhood,” Pierre insists.
When the sexual harassment charge was leveled against Pierre at theind.com, we contacted Lottery officials concerning the circumstances of his departure. In an email, Robin Schooling, vice president of human resources, replied only that “Vincent Pierre was employed by the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and ... he voluntarily resigned.”
Pierre vehemently denies allegations concerning his resignation from Louisiana Lottery: “I was never accused of sexual harassment charges at the Louisiana Lottery and I have never been accused at any job of sexual harassment.”
Pierre and Hardy will face off on Oct. 22 in the primary election for state House of Representatives District 44, the seat Hardy has held for four years and a seat long held by Pierre’s uncle, Wilfred Pierre.
MAY 17 Here's a column from James Gill, this time in the Advocate. Gill, who has jumped ship from the Picayune, writes about the absurdity of dueling polls in this post. The numbers are so wildly different, it is obvious that both sides are "cooking the books," he writes. In particular, he looks at Sen. Mary Landrieu, and how her recent actions in DC have been received by those polled. Gill's acerbic, amusing prose is a welcome addition to a paper so conservative as to be occasionally lacking in personality.
MAY 17 Blogger Tom Aswell continues delivering bombshells about the state education department and Gov. Jindal's education "reform" efforts. In this post, he reports that students in the Shreveport area have been signed up for a charter school without their knowledge or consent. Most interesting to Aswell is how this Texas-based charter (with ties to GOP types) got the personal student information it has, if the students didn't give it.
MAY 17 This post by JR Ball in the Baton Rouge Business Report is an interesting tongue-in-cheek look at recent Baton Rouge economic development efforts. Among the items he examines is the idea that gaining a Costco makes BR a "world-class city." (Really? All you need is a different brand of Sam's? MK!) This effort, and other recent ones, are all built on the taxpayer's back, with tax zones, tax incentives and tax rebates, Ball writes.
MAY 17 Blogger CB Forgotston is critical of the legislature's reliance on a revenue-estimating committee's decision to include projected tax amnesty income in this year's forecast. That's a problem, CB posts, because the deadline for these people to pay their taxes is June 30, 2014. So when do you think these people who haven't paid taxes in years are going to pay their taxes? Surely not before June 30, and that means the money won't be there for this year's budget, he argues.
MAY 17 Here's an interesting blog out of California by a Hollywood writer, attorney and academic named Brian Alan Lane. He blogs about higher ed, and was a whistle-blower in a scandal over false credentials. In this post, he takes aim at LSU's new top dog, King Alexander. It's convoluted and a little confusing, but it sure makes Alexander a lot more interesting than he was yesterday.
MAY 17 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board's refusal to allow Dr. Fred Cerise to testify before the legislature about Gov. Jindal's plan to close down all the state's charity hospitals and dump the poor on the private system. It's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Cerise to testify about that, so why would anyone try to prevent him doing so? Mann thinks it is because the powers that be aren't interested in hearing any truth about the plan.
MAY 17 This post on the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, a blog that notes developments in the Bayou Corne and Jefferson Island salt domes, talks about a proposed expansion of the salt dome storage under Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish. Residents are working against it for several reasons, including two biggies: the sinkhole disaster in Bayou Corne and the continuing, unexplained bubbling on the surface of the Lake.
MAY 17 NOLA police arrested more people Thursday accused of either being involved in the Mother's Day shooting or hiding the suspect afterward, this Gambit story reports. The NOLA police chief said he suspects the whole thing was gang-related and throws out a challenge to the gangs: he's got informants now, he says, and he knows a lot more than the gangs want him to know. The people who live in the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs are ready to talk, he says.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.