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Judge rules that suspended city marshal's malfeasance charges will stand

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 17:25:59-04

LAFAYETTE, La. (KATC) — Suspended Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope returned to court Thursday where a judge heard several motions regarding his upcoming trial on malfeasance in office charges.

Pope and his attorney, Brett Grayson, were in court after filing a motion to have his 19 malfeasance in office charges thrown out; a motion for a change of venue to have the trial moved outside of Lafayette citing media coverage of the case and the failed recall petition against him; and a motion for more time to conduct a “voir dire,” or the questioning of prospective jurors.

During Thursday's hearing, Pope’s attorney requested that the motion for a change of venue be deferred until a new trial date is set, which 15th Judicial District Judge John Trahan granted.

In February, the same judge continued his upcoming trial on malfeasance in office charges without a new date.

Those charges are from Pope’s December 2018 indictment that accuses him of supplementing his income with nearly $85,000 in fees collected by his office, despite an Attorney General’s opinion saying the money could only be used for office expenses.

The judge also granted the extension of time to question prospective jurors.

Pope’s attorney then made his argument for why the malfeasance in office charges should be dismissed.

He began by calling several members of the Lafayette City Court and Marshal’s Office to testify.

However, the defense did not convince the judge that those charges should be dismissed and ruled that they will stand.

Pope will be back in court on March 24 at the Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles where he will be appealing his October 2018 felony conviction.