We're learning more about a Senate bill that would allow the Lafayette City Marshal to keep court fees that got former City Marshal Brian Pope in legal trouble.
The bill, filed by Senator Gerald Boudreaux, will bring clarity to the law.
Senator Gerald Boudreaux says this bill will allow the Lafayette City Marshal to pocket certain fees from the court system, like money from eviction notices and subpoenas.
"By statute, we would have the limitations on the salary, how much fees and fines the dollars from those two accounts can go towards the salary of the marshal,” said Boudreaux.
That limit would be capped at 50% of the marshal's salary. The marshal would have to deposit the remainder in the office account.
"Some of the issues that have been covered with former Marshal Pope as to what fines and fees could be used towards his salary. The law would dictate that there is a maximum and there are parameters in the bill and you cannot exceed or go past what the parameters are in the statute,” Boudreaux added.
If the bill passes, Lafayette City Marshal Reggie Thomas would be allowed to keep fees totaling up to $44,000 in addition to his salary.
"It makes it that nobody can go back and say 'Do we have any issues, was anything violated,'” said Thomas.
Under the current state law, the city marshal in Lafayette is not allowed to keep fees for personal use.
Boudreaux says the bill will bring clarity while leveling the playing field for the marshal to keep court fees like other parts of the state.
"I think it was something that needed to be fixed, it needed to be addressed. I think for the perspective of taxpayers, you want to have those parameters in place,” said Boudreaux.
Boudreaux says the bill was unanimously approved in the Senate. It will go before the House for final approval in the coming weeks.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers