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Judge apologizes to City Marshal Brian Pope

Posted at 4:49 PM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2020-03-04 17:22:58-05

Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope received an apology from the judge during his hearing this morning.

Earlier this month, an appeals court ruled 15th Judicial District Judge Jules Edwards incorrectly sentenced Pope and told him to fix it.

Today, he did.

Judge Jules Edwards initially made community service part of the Marshal’s sentence for contempt of court in a public records lawsuit, but he can’t do that. The judge corrected that by making the community service requirement part of the probation deal.

Marshal Pope had no comment leaving the courthouse, but he was all smiles after hearing Judge Edwards would give him two more years to complete community service he was first ordered to do in March of 2016.

Gary McGoffin, attorney for The Independent said, “Judge Edwards followed the Third Circuits instructions today, re-sentenced him, re-imposed probation, made terms of the probation as what you’d expect. He has to stay away from bad people and don’t commit any more crimes.”

Pope was initially given 173 hours of community service to complete and was sent to jail when the judge said he realized the Marshal was not close to meeting the goal within the two years he gave him to do it. Pope appealed and the court sided with him saying the sentencing was not legal.

“This is a contempt judgment, so it’s the court’s judgment it’s not between the parties,” McGoffin said. “It’s up to the judge to decide what he wants to do to allow Marshal Pope to cure his contempt of court which was the contempt for failure to produce the public records and the failure to follow the injunction and the orders the judge had given previously.”

Pope’s attorney Michael Walsh said Pope has already completed 24 out of the 173 hours of community service he must complete to satisfy his probation. Pope can pick up trash and, or teach the public how to comply with public-records law.

Judge Edwards said Pope’s probation is effective immediately and will end on August 29, 2020. If he doesn’t complete it this go around, he could be sent back to jail.