Former City Marshal sentenced to house arrest for 90 days, 4 years probation
NEW IBERIA, La. (Daily Iberian) — Former New Iberia City Marshal Haywood “Tony” Migues pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to eight counts of obstruction of court records, a misdemeanor, the day after tendering his resignation from the city marshal’s post to the Louisiana Secretary of State.
Migues entered an open-ended plea, meaning that he had not negotiated a sentence prior to entering the plea.
In sentencing Migues, 16th Judicial District Court Judge Anthony Saleme broke the eight charges into two groups. On the first four counts, he sentenced Migues to one year on each count, to run concurrently, but suspended. He also sentenced Migues to 90 days house arrest with an ankle monitoring bracelet as well as two years of probation.
Migues will also have to pay $1,000 in court costs, a $250 fee to the 16th JDC District Attorney’s Office, and 120 hours of community service to the city of New Iberia.
On the second four counts, Saleme imposed the same sentence, to run consecutively with the first, except without the 90-day house arrest. So Migues will serve 90 days of house arrest and four years of probation in total, with a year of jail time pending if he violates the terms of his probation.
Under the state statute for obstruction of court records, the maximum sentence Migues faced on each count was one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Migues’ attorney Richard Spears called one witness, New Iberia City Attorney Nicole Burke, to testify that no one was harmed or unjustly charged as a result of Migues’ actions.
Saleme asked Burke if there were any pecuniary damages precipitated.
“No, not to my knowledge,” Burke said. “No one came forward.”
In a prepared statement, Spears said that his client did not have to resign from office, but did so because it was in the best interest of the city of New Iberia and the Marshal’s Office.
“Though he violated the law, he is thankful that no one was actually harmed due to his zeal,” Spears wrote. “At no time did he personally benefit from these acts, nor is he accused of doing so.”
Because more than a year remains in Migues’ term of office, a special election will have to be held to fill the unexpired portion of his term. That election will likely occur on Oct. 9.
The New Iberia City Council has 20 days, until May 3, to set a date for a special election to select a new marshal to complete the current term.
In the interim, the chief deputy marshal will assume the duties of marshal. If the chief deputy has not been named or refuses the position, the New Iberia City Council will have until May 3 to appoint an interim marshal.
It is too late to place the marshal’s seat on the April 24 ballot. If the city administration moves expeditiously, the seat could be on the ballot for the state’s next election cycle, with the election to be held on Oct. 9. That would mean candidates would qualify from July 14 to July 16.
If the city council does not appoint an interim or set the election date in the specified amount of time, the open position will be sent to the governor’s office to be filled.
Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.