Brian Pope asks to serve the rest of his jail sentence on house arrest

Posted at 2:36 PM, Mar 05, 2018

Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope is asking a judge if he can serve the rest of his 30-day jail sentence on house arrest.

Pope’s been in the Lafayette Parish jail since Thursday, when a judge found the marshal has not made a sufficient effort to complete the terms of his probation.

An attorney for Pope, Harry Phillips, filed a motion on Thursday asking 15th Judicial Judge Jules Edwards to allow him to serve some of the sentence on home monitoring.

Phillips claims that because Pope is a law enforcement official, such a sentence modification “is appropriate” because of “the extensive security” needed to protect him while in jail and because he still has about 250 days to complete his probation.

Edwards has not set a date on the motion.

Pope’s has been ordered since March 2016 to complete 173 hours of public instruction on Louisiana’s public records law by November. As of a probation revocation hearing last Thursday, Pope had not completed any of that work.

Expressing impatience with Pope’s inaction, Edwards revoked the marshal’s probation and ordered him to complete a 30-day jail sentence.

Pope already spent seven of days on house arrest in late 2016 after the state Supreme Court rejected his request to appeal his contempt-of-court sentence in a public records lawsuit. Edwards sentenced Pope to the 173 hours of community service and a 30-day jail sentence, with all but seven of those days suspended and the seven days to be spent on home monitoring.

Pope is also facing a seven-count felony indictment for malfeasance and perjury related to misuse of public funds and political activity on public time. He faces trial in April.

The marshal’s first term is set to end in 2020. Although he’s serving jail time and faces a felony indictment, he’s an elected official who will remain in office unless convicted of a felony or recalled by voters.

A recall effort against the marshal failed last year.