Lafayette

Feb 6, 2013 1:51 PM by AP

Lafayette court bribery scandal grows

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A probe of bribery in the Lafayette court system has expanded to include a former employee of the Acadiana Outreach Center.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/WQPN4Y ) 59-year-old Elaine Crump admitted in court Tuesday to falsifying certificates that defendants had completed court-mandated community service at the nonprofit group.

Crump, a former case manager, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony for not reporting the scheme she was involved in. She faces up to three years in prison.

The plea comes after three former employees of the 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office pleaded guilty earlier this year in the investigation of bribes paid for favorable treatment in DWI cases.

The plea comes after three former employees of the 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office pleaded guilty earlier this year in the investigation of bribes paid for favorable treatment in DWI cases.

"Those involved in this bribery scheme have put their own interests above that of the criminal justice system," U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said.

District Attorney Mike Harson's longtime secretary and office administrator, Barna D. Haynes, has pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy.

Haynes, 58, admitted accepting a total of $55,000 over four years, but federal prosecutors contend the amount exceeded $70,000.

Greg Williams, who worked as an assistant district attorney in Harson's office, and Williams' secretary, Denease Curry, also have pleaded guilty in the case.

Williams, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for accepting at least one cash payment of $500 and a series of gifts, according to court filings by prosecutors.

Curry, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony and admitted in court documents to accepting about $1,600 for working with Haynes to coordinate special state court plea agreements that were arranged in return for the bribes.

The plea agreements required defendants to complete court-approved community service.

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