Jefferson Parish’s imprisoned former parish president made a quiet return to Kenner last week.
Aaron Broussard, on a four-day furlough from the federal prison camp in Pensacola, Florida, he calls home these days, made appearances at local restaurants, a golf course and even a Bible study group.
Several friends and associates, all of whom wanted to remain anonymous, said they saw the 66-year-old Broussard in town. He had been allowed to come home to check on his mother, roughly eight months before the end of his nearly four-year prison sentence.
The associates said the former parish chief executive was upbeat as he dined and socialized with friends, many of whom have visited him in prison since he began serving his 46-month sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud and theft in 2012.
Broussard, who has lost several bids to overturn his conviction, has spent his time behind bars emceeing the prison Christmas show, taking continuing education courses, singing in the choir and tutoring other inmates, according to court filings. He’s also had to endure shackles, strip searches and 72-hour lockdowns.
Friends said Broussard remains a “spiritual” man active in his Christian ministry and that he is considering writing a book.
He is scheduled to be released Sept. 5, but friends say he could be released to a halfway house in about three months.
Officials from the minimum-security federal prison holding Broussard would not comment.
Furloughs are not uncommon for white-collar inmates nearing the end of their terms. Former Gov. Edwin Edwards got at least two furloughs to visit his family in the years before his 2011 release.
Upon release, Broussard plans to return to Kenner and move in with his mother, who needs care, according to a federal court filing early this year.
Broussard’s attorney wrote that Broussard “fully intends to become a productive and contributing member of society.”
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.