UPDATE: Pope turned himself in to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office before noon on Friday. He was released on a $35,000 bond.
LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope turned himself in Friday morning. He was indicted on felony charges by a grand jury on Wednesday.
Pope faces seven counts of malfeasance in office for allegedly taking funds belonging to the marshal’s office.
Each count is for the following amounts reportedly taken “without legal authority” in 2018:
- Count 1: Jan. 31, $1289.56
- Count 2: March 7, $1552.47
- Count 3: March 29, $1514.17
- Count 4: April 30, $1768.19
- Count 5: May 31, $1394.16
- Count 6: June 28, $1945.62
- Count 7: July 31, $3876.23
Pope will face $5,000 bond for each count.
According to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office this afternoon, warrants have not yet been issued for Pope’s arrest.
“I was not surprised, and I will not be surprised if we see additional charges come Mr. Pope’s way in the next month’s or years,” said Aimee Robinson, a member of the group, ‘Holding Brian Pope Accountable.’
She’s responding to the City Marshal’s 7 new counts of malfeasance in office, for allegedly taking funds belonging to the Marshal’s Office.
“Right now we’re dealing with a man who continues to break the law, and up until today, none of the other 7 felonies have anything to do with the money that he is illegally taking. This man has no regard for the law that he is enforcing,” said Robinson.
According to our partners at The Daily Advertiser, these latest charges may be linked to an opinion from the Attorney General’s Office, in both Lafayette and Shreveport from retaining other fees for services their deputies may perform.
Pope’s attorney says that Thursday’s move is all political.
“We just find the timing of this indictment highly suspect. We’re two weeks away from trial, it’s already going to be tough enough to pick a jury, and this is not going to help the situation,” said John McClindon, Pope’s attorney.
News 10 took these new charges to local attorney Clay LeJeune to look over.
He says they’re felony charges and are punishable with or without hard labor; meaning that Pope could be imprisoned in the Parish jail or the Department of Corrections, but….
“These are all offenses that could be suspended and be placed on probation, which wouldn’t necessarily mean that he would have any jail time, unless he failed to meet the condition of his probation,” said LeJeune.
This now brings a total of 14 felonies against City Marshal Pope.
2 for Perjury and 12 for Malfeasance.
Pope’s attorney tells News 10 he believes his client will win his upcoming trial in less than 2 weeks, and then deal with these new charges afterwards.
The official still faces separate charges of perjury and malfeasance.
Pope’s trial date for that case is set for Sept. 24.