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Pope booked into jail on new accusations of taking more than $13,000

Posted at 10:10 AM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 14:56:37-04
Brian Pope mugshot
Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope was booked into the Lafayette Parish jail on Sept. 14, 2018, on seven new counts of malfeasance. Photo courtesy Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office

Brian Pope surrendered to the Lafayette Parish jail on Friday morning in his latest indictment, which accused the first-term Lafayette City Marshal of taking more than $13,000 meant for his office.

A grand jury on Thursday indicted the marshal on seven more counts of malfeasance, and an arrest warrant was issued.

Pope had bonded out of jail by noon on $35,000 bail, jail records show.

Pope, who already is set for a Sept. 24 trial on charges of perjury and malfeasance, is now accused taking, “without legal authority, funds” in various amounts that total more than $13,000.

The amounts match public records KATC Investigates obtained earlier this year that showed garnishment-fee payments the marshal used to supplement his salary, even after an Attorney General opinion told him the money was meant for his office’s use.

See the pay stubs here and here.

An attorney for the Marshal’s Office said that money was being used to pay off his penalties in a public-records lawsuit that he lost and that led to the first round of charges against him.

Pope inherited the salary-supplementation practice from prior Marshal Nicky Picard. Both of them about doubled their six-figure incomes through certain fees from city court and the garnishment fees, the latter of which are a 6 percent administrative fee that the marshal collects to garnish other people’s wages.

State law exempts both Shreveport’s and Lafayette’s marshals from using those fees to supplement their salaries.

Auditors had urged Pope to request an AG’s opinion on this since 2016. Only when 15th Judicial District Attorney Keith Stutes requested an AG opinion on the matter in January was an opinion released.