Convicted City Marshal Brian Pope’s attorneys are preparing for appeals.
Last night, Pope was found guilty on one count of perjury and three counts of malfeasance in office. Now, he’s suspended from his duties as Marshal.
“If you truly believe you’re not culpable and then a verdict is returned similar to what was returned last night, it puts you in shock,” said Pope’s attorney Brett Grayson. “They were in shock last night.”
Grayson said Pope is preparing to move forward. His legal team is focusing where they believe there are deficiencies in the State’s evidence.
“In this particular case, there will likely be a motion for acquittal for the district court to re-exam the evidence and the law on which each one of the guilty verdict counts could be re-examined,” Grayson said.
Right now, Pope is no longer on the job. His suspension will remain in effect during the appeals process.
“Suspended without compensation and without any benefits of his employment…Use of a vehicle, benefits, healthcare…the whole gambit,” said retired 16th Judicial District prosecutor Chester Cedars.
He said Pope’s conviction automatically disqualifies him from holding office.
“That suspension from holding office will continue until all appeal remedies have been exhausted,” said Cedars.
Pope’s pre-sentencing investigation will take up to 90 days. Once it’s completed, Judge David Smith will sentence Pope.
Grayson said, “Under the Louisiana law, you have two years in which to file a motion for appeal. Of course, we will not be waiting for two years. That’s what I anticipate will be the sequence of events.”
If Pope is exonerated on appeal, he’s eligible to receive back pay, but if not, Pope loses his job completely.
“He would lose the ability to carry a firearm and he would lose his post certification as well,” said Grayson.
Cedars believes despite the outcome, the community should not let this case taint the Lafayette City Marshal’s Office.
“Good people, good office, good community,” said Cedars. “Better days are ahead.”
According to Governor Edward’s Office, state law requires the “local governing authority” to appoint an interim Marshal. In this case, that’s the Lafayette City Court.
City Judge Francie Bouillion told KATC the court is meeting with attorneys and carefully evaluating its options. She says a decision could come as soon as Friday.