Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum appears in court, seeks grand jury, recall information

Posted at 1:18 PM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 13:14:11-04
Reginald Tatum
Opelousas Mayor Reginald Tatum / KATC

Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum’s attorney is set to subpoena the organizers of an unsuccessful recall petition against Tatum and will soon have the names and addresses of who participated in the grand jury that indicted the mayor.

Attorney Frank Olivier III had filed a motion in February for the grand jury information and to subpoena the recall organizers to produce the petition. In a Thursday hearing on those motions, prosecutors posed no objection to the requests.

Olivier said the requests amount to him doing his “homework” before trial in a case he claims is “politically motivated.”

“There has been a serious misunderstanding as to what transpired and how it came about,” Olivier said after the hearing.

Olivier said he will now obtain the grand jury information from the St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court.

Olivier will also issue a subpoena to recall organizers Derrick Comeaux and Paul Gennuso to produce the recall petition by May 3. The petition would also include the names and addresses of people who declared they wanted Tatum before voters for a recall election.

Comeaux and Gennuso have previously told KATC they no longer have the document.

Olivier said he’s also awaiting additional discovery in the case, including information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Tatum faces multiple charges of theft, forgery and malfeasance related to a nearly $13,000 overtime payment he received after the August 2016 floods. He’s also accused of forging time sheets for some council members.

Although Tatum was placed on track for a May trial, Olivier said it doesn’t look like that date will happen — although he said he’d like for the proceedings to close before October elections.

“These are all specific intent charges, and let me tell you, my client is honest as the day is long,” Olivier said.