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State Supreme Court rejects Brian Pope appeal

Brian Pope
Posted at 2:11 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 15:11:44-04

The state Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from suspended Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope.

In October 2018, a jury convicted Pope of three counts malfeasance in office. The jury also found him guilty of a count of perjury, but the judge in the case dismissed it.

In June, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed Pope's convictions, but sent the case back to the district court for re-sentencing. Pope asked the state Supreme Court to review that court's affirmation of his convictions; the Supreme Court has refused to listen to his appeal.

On Oct. 3, 2018, a jury convicted Pope on four out of the seven charges he faced. Pope was found guilty on one count of perjury and three counts of malfeasance in office, stemming from a public records dispute with The Independent.

On June 19, 2019, Pope’s motion for acquittal on one count of perjury was granted by 15th Judicial District Judge David Smith. Smith also sentenced Pope to three years in the parish jail for each of his three convictions, with all but one year suspended.

Pope faces another trial for his 19 malfeasance in office charges from his 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.

In February, 15th Judicial District Judge John Trahan continued his upcoming trial on malfeasance in office charges without a new date.

During a March hearing, Pope’s attorney filed 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. He also 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.

To read about Pope’s extensive court case, check out our archive page here.

Pope also faces charges lodged against him by the state Ethics Board, and he is on probation for a civil contempt conviction stemming from a lawsuit filed against him by The Independent over public records.

After he qualified to run for re-election last month, two judges ruled his candidacy was invalid. Pope hasn't actually performed the job - or been paid for it - since he was suspended following his convictions.

We've reached out to his attorneys for comment and will update the story as soon as we receive it.