VILLE PLATTE, La. (KLFY) — The Ville Platte alderman has filed a lawsuit against the Evangeline Parish district attorney after he accused her of voter fraud a year ago.
Just over one year after Ville Platte Alderman Christina Sam was accused of voter fraud, Sam’s attorney, Roshelle Jones, says her unfair treatment during the investigation needs to be acknowledged and have consequences for the district attorney.
“Mr. Brignac, acting under the color of state law, violated the constitutional rights of alderman Sam and also falsely imprisoned her. Federal law gives alderman Sam a cause of action against Mr. Brignac for violating her civil rights,” said Jones.
In November of 2022, Sam faced accusations of voter fraud in her election. Shortly after the accusations, Jones says Sam was brought into district attorney Trent Brignac’s office, without an attorney or any form of representation, and questioned for over 4 hours about her involvement and allegedly told to plead guilty.
Jones says the lack of having an attorney present, being under supervision of security during the entirety of her questioning, and not being allowed to leave were violations of Sam’s rights.
Jones tells News 10 the questioning also affected Sam’s personal life.
“He called her place of employment and interrogated her boss. Her boss was so shaken up by this phone call, her boss ultimately decided to terminate the employment of Alderman Sam,” said Jones. “We had a woman who never even received a traffic ticket in her life who was hauled into the chief prosecutor’s office, and this caused some emotional anguish for her and mental distress.”
After the events of the questioning, Jones and Sam pushed to have Brignac recused from the case; saying he had personal interest in the investigation. A statement the third circuit court would agree with, recusing Brignac in March of this year.
Sam’s charges would be dropped in September, leading to this lawsuit’s focus on making sure the district attorney can never handle a case in this fashion again.
“This lawsuit is about accountability and holding Mr. Brignac accountable. Reminding him that there is a constitution, and he has to abide by the rules of that constitution as district attorney of Evangeline parish. Ultimately, that is what this lawsuit is about,” said Jones.
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