Former East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Stewart Richey has landed a position heading a statewide children’s advocacy association.
Richey, a Democrat who served as the parish’s first juvenile judge for more than two decades, took over as LouisianaChildren.org’s chief executive officer on Monday, the nonprofit said.
The association lobbies the Legislature to support laws favorable to children, provides support to family-friendly programs and works closely with child advocacy centers and CASA in Louisiana.
Richey lost her seat on the bench in the parish Juvenile Court she held since 1990 to a newcomer Republican, former prosecutor Adam J. Haney, in November. She was instrumental in creating Baton Rouge’s Children Advocacy Center, the nonprofit association said.
Before she was a judge, Richey represented children as a public defender.
“She knows and understands the legislative process and has good relationships with the Supreme Court and the juvenile judges throughout the state,” LouisianaChildren.org said.
Metro Council members a no-show at library tour
No Metro Council members attended a briefing and tour on Thursday morning at the Main Library where library staffers planned to explain how they want to spend property tax money.
Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker’s legislative aide Cordia Clark attended the meeting by herself, and the library’s leaders took her on a tour of the new Main Library. They showed off features that they want to incorporate into the other branches.
While Clark paged through construction wish-lists and budget projections, rows of empty chairs and stacks of paperwork remained untouched. Canisters of coffee and orange juice, a fruit tray and a mound of McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches remained uneaten on the counter.
Library staffers are trying to persuade Metro Council members to let them hold an election for an 11.1-mill property tax in the fall.
The tax would translate to an increase on tax bills, as the library currently collects 10.78 mills in property taxes. But Library Board members say the new tax should not be considered an increase because voters have approved 11.1 mills in property taxes for them in the past two elections.
The library collects 10.78 mills currently because the tax was rolled back as property values were reassessed.
Some Metro Council members reacted negatively to the news that the library was planning to ask for an 11.1-mill property tax again. A handful said they planned to vote against allowing the tax when the proposal goes before them later this month.
Library Director Spencer Watts and Assistant Director Mary Stein have held multiple meetings to line up the votes for their proposed tax. Metro Council members Wicker, Joel Boé, Scott Wilson, Buddy Amoroso, Ronnie Edwards and Chauna Banks-Daniel attended the first meeting about the matter.
Ascension sheriff ‘steaks’ claim on office
Where’s the beef?
Apparently, it’s in Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley’s campaign coffers after a Wednesday night steak dinner, complete with a piano bar, netted him more than $100,000.
Wiley, who is seeking a sixth term this fall and is unopposed, said his campaign sold 3,049 rib-eye steaks. Couples paid $100 for two meals that included green beans and scalloped potatoes made with recipe help from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Wiley said it was former Livingston Sheriff Willie Graves who originated the steak dinner concept.
Wiley’s campaign sold 1,840 dinners in a drive-through set up at the Gonzales Civic Center.
The fundraiser also packed the building, drawing its share of pols and politicking. State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who is running for governor, were among the elected officials on hand. Wiley also offered his endorsement of Caldwell.
Wiley, who called this steak dinner his campaign’s most successful, attributed that success to the hard work of many volunteers and to decently priced rib-eye meals.
“But also you know what? It ain’t a bad deal, as opposed to giving some politician money and you don’t get anything for it,” Wiley said.
Advocate staff writers Ben Wallace, Andrea Gallo and David J. Mitchell contributed to this article