NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — The candidacy of an embattled New Iberia attorney running for District Court Judge for Division ‘H’ in the 16th Judicial District is under the microscope for her alleged involvement in an elaborate automobile insurance scam.
Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board documents accuse Alicia Butler of being involved in a staged vehicle accident ring in 2010.
Louisiana State Police and the State Farm Special Investigations Unit stated they believed Butler purposefully created traffic accidents to obtain personal injury clients.
Authorities say Butler colluded with a man who would purposefully collide his vehicle with commercial vehicles and that Butler would then sue over the crashes she knew were staged to make a profit.
Butler says the allegations are not true.
“I had no involvement at all,” Butler told News 10. “I was investigated. I was never criminally charged in any of that.”
She says her brother, who worked for her law firm, was the person who colluded in the insurance scam.
“I was implicated because my brother used my vehicle to stage the accidents,” she said.
The documents accuse Butler of violating over a dozen rules, including committing a criminal act and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
She adamantly denies the accusations and will go before the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board for a formal hearing this year.
Another issue that has arisen amidst her campaign for District Court Judge is her law license recently being suspended by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
The Louisiana Supreme Court suspended Butler’s law license in 2019.
She is currently under probation from that suspension until at least 2021.
Butler says her suspension and probation set by the Louisiana Supreme Court have nothing to do with the investigation into the staged accident ring.
“That dealt with the mishandling of a client trust account,” she said.
Butler says she is an attorney in good standing with the Louisiana State Bar Association.
“I have no blemishes on my record, period. I want to represent the people,” Butler said in a phone interview.
News 10 reporter Britt Lofaso questioned, “No blemishes except for the suspension and the probation though?”
Butler responded, “Yeah, I mean in so far as 20 years practicing as an attorney, you will have some things that you come into contact with that you will break a rule. I broke a rule, and I made a mistake. And I got suspended for it.”
She says in her 20 years practicing law, she has never been disbarred and is legally qualified to run as District Court Judge for Division ‘H’.
Butler believes her opponent, Roger Hamilton, has brought light to the investigation into the staged accident ring to smear her campaign for District Court Judge.