A St. Bernard Parish justice of the peace must pay a $2,000 civil penalty after twice filing required financial reporting paperwork late in recent years, the Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled.
Kevin Hoffman, a justice of the peace for Ward A, also was ordered to pay $276 in costs.
Though he is required to file his annual financial statement each year by May 15, Hoffman’s paperwork was late in 2010 and again in 2012.
After the first violation, the state Supreme Court found that Hoffman had not “acted in bad faith or that he had purposely chosen not to file his financial disclosure statement to obtain some personal or professional gain,” the court said this month in a seven-page ruling.
At that time, the high court warned Hoffman that “justices of the peace are held to a high standard, and they are often called upon to enforce deadlines on litigants before their courts, and must likewise show respect for the deadlines this court has imposed on all judicial officers, without exception.” Hoffman was fined $200 in that instance.
However, Hoffman failed to file his financial statement on time in 2012 and then missed two subsequent deadlines to do so. The paperwork was ultimately filed more than three months late, according to the Supreme Court.
During a 2013 hearing, Hoffman testified that he knew the paperwork needed to be filed on time but that it “slipped through the crack” while he dealt with the illness and death of his father, the court’s ruling said.
The Supreme Court’s decision was handed down April 10.
Follow Richard Thompson on Twitter, @rthompsonMSY.