UPDATE: The order appointing former U.S. Attorney Donald Washington as temporary City Marshal has been stayed, a judge told KATC.
“We have stayed the appointment of Mr. Washington as temporary marshal,” said City Judge Francie Bouillion. “The Third Circuit stayed the order of Judge Edwards, so based on that, we have stayed the order appointing Mr. Washington. If we receive something else from the Third Circuit, we will act accordingly.”
The court appointed Washington temporary marshal this week, after Judge Jules Edwards sent City Marshal Brian Pope to jail after revoking his probation for a contempt of court conviction in a civil case.
Today, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal ordered Pope released while he appeals Edwards’ ruling, and Pope was released from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
He was released from the Lafayette Parish jail at about 3:30 p.m.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeal ordered a stay on the marshal’s sentence until his appeal pans out, according to the order. By March 14, Judge Jules Edwards must also submit a transcript of the Feb. 28 probation revocation hearing that led to Pope’s sentence.
Last week, Edwards sent Pope to jail after a hearing to revoke his probation. Almost two years ago, the judge found Pope guilty of contempt of court in connection with his actions in a civil case before the court.
In that case, the Independent newspaper sued Pope over his failure to properly respond to public records requests. He also is facing an indictment accusing him of perjury and malfeasance in connection with the same situation.
When Edwards found Pope guilty of contempt, he sentenced him to serve a week of house arrest, plus more than 200 hours of community service. But as of this spring, Pope has served fewer than 10 hours of community service, which he accomplished in December when he joined a trash crew for about eight hours.
But in last week’s hearing, Edwards decided that Pope’s probation should be revoked and sentenced the city marshal to serve 30 days in jail. He ordered bailiffs to take him from the courtroom to jail, which they did.
Earlier this week, Pope’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal with the court, and requested that the appeals court “stay” – or place on hold – his sentence. Today, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal ordered his release while his appeal is pending.
This is a developing story, and we will update this post and have more details on KATC TV3.