Brian Trainor, who is in a four-way race for the 22nd Judicial District attorney seat, is well-connected on the north shore, where his boss, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain, has endorsed him. Strain and St. Tammany Parish Councilman Red Thompson are among the sponsors of a meet-and-greet luncheon for the candidate Thursday.
But Trainor also is drawing some interesting support from outside the parish.
The luncheon announcement, a copy of which appeared on the website Slabbed, lists two other sponsors of the lunch at Annadele’s Plantation Restaurant. They are John Mamoulides, who served as district attorney in Jefferson Parish for more than 20 years, and Carl Eberts, a south shore businessman who is the brother-in-law of former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard.
Trainor worked as an assistant district attorney under Walter Reed for eight years before joining the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, where he is taking a leave of absence from his position as chief deputy.
He picked up the endorsement this week of the Republican Parish Executive Committee, which also endorsed Warren Montgomery.
Cooperstown for lawyers?
Roy Burns, who is running to succeed Walter Reed as district attorney, has at least twice touted his prosecutorial skills by saying he is a “hall of fame” trial attorney.
He made that claim most recently at the St. Tammany Alliance for Good Government forum Wednesday night in Covington, where he and the other three candidates — Alan Black, Warren Montgomery and Brian Trainor — answered questions.
Burns made the claim in response to a question about whether he would try cases himself, prompting his opponents to chuckle, shake their heads and, in the case of Montgomery, question the existence of such a distinction.
A spokesman for the Burns campaign said Burns was simply using a figure of speech to describe his many years of law practice.
Cannizzaro honored by FBI director
The nation’s top cop this week recognized Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III, along with other state and federal agents central to anti-gang violence initiatives in the two parishes.
In a ceremony on Thursday in Washington, D.C., FBI Director James Comey presented the two DAs, their first assistants and four FBI agents with the Director’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Law Enforcement Community.
Both district attorneys were credited for their work with federal authorities to increase “the violent crime and gang prosecutorial bandwidth in both cities,” said FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Michael Anderson in a statement.
Cannizzaro has touted his office’s use of a once-obscure state racketeering statute to cast a wide net in prosecuting alleged gang members in the city.
Defense attorneys argue that the resulting indictments reach too far, drawing in small-time players in cases of guilt by association, while taxing a criminal justice system with cases better suited for federal court.
So far, the prosecutions have resulted in numerous convictions, and the strategy has been credited with spurring a significant slide in the city’s troubling homicide rate over the past two years.
Moore credited a similar “group violence reduction strategy” in Baton Rouge for reducing violent crime and murders there.
Along with the two DAs and their respective first assistants, Graymond Martin in Orleans Parish and Prem Burns in Baton Rouge, the award was given to FBI special agents John Selleck, Charles DeLaughter, R.D. Hardgrave Jr. and David Riker. All but DeLaughter work in New Orleans.
Councilman Danielson rolls out big guns
Mandeville City Councilman Rick Danielson won’t face the voters for 1½ years , but he’s already rolling out some heavy hitters as he seeks to build up a war chest.
A Danielson fundraiser slated for Oct. 1 at Mandeville’s Fleur De Lis Center will be hosted by Parish President Pat Brister, state Sen. Jack Donahue and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who as majority whip is the third-highest ranking member of the House of Representatives.
The fundraiser suggests a donation of $150 to Danielson’s campaign, with a maximum donation of $1,000 per person or business entity.
Danielson called Scalise, Brister and Donahue “mentors and friends” to him during his political career.
Danielson, along with the rest of the council and Mayor Donald Villere, is up for re-election in spring 2016.
COAST board looks to oust member
In what board President Bill Magee called “the last bit of cleanup from the past,” the board that oversees the Council on Aging of St. Tammany has called a Sept. 29 meeting to discuss removing one of its members.
Magee refused to say which board member might be ousted, only that it was one who formerly held a board office. But it’s clear that the move targets former COAST board President Kathleen Javery-Bacon, who earlier this year was the subject of a no-confidence vote by her fellow board members.
Magee said the issues with the board member were related to abuse of authority but that there was no suspicion of any criminal activity.
Javery-Bacon was an ally of former COAST Director Mary Toti, who was fired earlier this year after a tumultuous few months in which complaints abounded and board meetings often devolved into surreal, lengthy affairs marked by petty arguments.
Magee suggested that the board member up for removal could resign and obviate the need for a meeting, but he wasn’t sure if that would happen.
During the meeting, a letter with several grievances will be discussed and the board member will have the opportunity to offer a defense. After the discussion, board members will have the opportunity to move for removal and, if the motion is seconded, vote.
Compiled by staff writers Sara Pagones, John Simerman and Faimon A. Roberts III