CONVENT — St. James Parish School Board member Tyler J. Jasmin pleaded not guilty Monday to a pharmacy shopping charge that stemmed from a State Police investigation into his use of the same prescription several times last year.
Flanked by his defense attorney Nghana Gauff and dressed in a tan suit, Jasmin, 27, entered the plea during his arraignment before 23rd District Judge Jessie LeBlanc at the St. James Parish Courthouse in Convent.
Prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office charged him Wednesday with one felony count of obtaining hydrocodone by fraud.
If convicted, Jasmin faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000 and he would be forced to step down from his position on the School Board.
State troopers arrested Jasmin, 2045 La. 18, Vacherie, on Nov. 11 on four counts each of obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, altering a prescription and possession of a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance.
Troopers said at the time of his arrest that Jasmin filled the same prescription on Aug. 22 for 16 hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets at seven pharmacies in St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes, and then on Oct. 8 at two pharmacies in St. James Parish.
Leaving the courthouse later Monday, Jasmin declined comment.
He did comment on Facebook on Nov. 13, two days after his arrest and a day after his release on bail of $80,000, “to apologize for any misconceptions that were caused by the event of this week.”
“It was not my intention to create such an awkward and embarrassing situation. In both my professional and private life I strive to be courteous, considerate and respectful. It has been a wake-up call to me that I need to change my outlook on life and my approach to others,” Jasmin wrote.
A first-term School Board member, Jasmin, no party, represents District 6 on the west bank. He won the seat in November 2014 when he beat Democrat Frieda Boughton 53 percent to 47 percent. He took office in January 2015.
Assistant Attorney General Jeff Traylor also declined comment on the case Monday.