Grand Jury indicts Brian Pope again; adds two malfeasance charges

Posted at 1:47 PM, Dec 10, 2016
and last updated 2019-06-26 13:51:00-04

Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope has again been indicted by a parish grand jury.

Pope was indicted back in August, accused of two counts of perjury and three counts of using public money to urge electors to vote for or against a candidate. All the charges stem from Pope’s involvement in the 2015 race for Lafayette Sheriff and his subsequent battle with The Independent over public records the newspaper sought to uncover that involvement. He already has served a civil sentence in connection with a contempt of court ruling in that civil case.

Today’s indictment includes the two original perjury cases, but revises the three other charges to include the term “malfeasance in office.” It also adds two new malfeasance in office charges, one connected to some unspecified action by Pope on June 13 and one connected to an unspecified action by Pope on July 13. The change increases the jail time and fines Pope could face if convicted; he originally faced up to one year in prison on each of those charges, now he faces up to five years in prison on each count. All told, Pope now faces up to 35 years in prison and fines of up to $45,000.

In the perjury charges, Pope is accused of lying about authorizing a mass email — an issue that came to light during the Independent lawsuit — about now-Sheriff Mark Garber’s immigration policy, and allegedly lied about using the services of Hilary “Joe” Castille, Leger’s campaign manager.

Pope allegedly used public funds in to support a candidate three times  — from Sept. 1, 2015 to Sept. 23, 2015, on Oct. 7, 2015 and from November 10, 2015 to June 2, 2016, according to the indictment. The three charges respectively have to do with a “500 Club” fundraiser, a press conference about Garber’s immigration policy and allegations that Pope footed attorney bills to unseal Garber’s divorce lawsuit, said Pope’s attorney at the time, Kevin Stockstill.

If convicted on the perjury charge, Pope faces a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison on each count.

If convicted on the use of malfeasance charge, Pope faces a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison on each count.

We reached out to Stockstill, who said he no longer represents Pope.

To read our story about the first indictment, click here.