An arrest warrant was issued this week for New Orleans defense attorney Lionel “Lon” Burns, whose latest run for public office ended this year when the Louisiana Supreme Court disqualified him from the race for Orleans Parish district attorney.
Burns, 43, was being sought on suspicion of simple battery, theft and simple criminal damage to property stemming from an alleged incident on Wednesday, the same day the warrant was issued, according to a New Orleans Police Department spokesman.
The spokesman, Tyler Gamble, provided no details about the allegations contained in the warrant, but he said late Friday that Burns had yet to be arrested.
Messages left with Burns were not immediately returned.
Burns, the lone challenger this year to District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, was booted from the race for failing to show that he had filed his tax returns over a four-year period beginning in 2009, after declaring on his sworn candidacy form that he had.
A former prosecutor, Burns argued successfully with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal that he had straightened out his tax issues and sent his returns to the state through a tax preparer.
But the state’s high court said it wasn’t enough because an official with the Department of Revenue said the agency never received the returns. The issue for the Supreme Court came down to the definition of “filed.”
Burns, who ran a failed campaign for Criminal District Court judge in 2008, has represented some high-profile clients in recent years, including the family of Wendell Allen, a 20-year-old man who was shot and killed in his Gentilly home by a New Orleans police officer who later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and accepted a four-year prison sentence.
Burns also represents Chelsea Thornton, who faces two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing her two young children in their Gert Town apartment.
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