ACA.brianpope.01.100720

Suspended Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope arrives for a hearing requested by the district attorney to object to the candidacy of Pope, who has filed the paperwork to run for re-election to the office in the Nov. 3 election, Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse in Lafayette, La.

The Louisiana Supreme Court, in a decision announced Tuesday, declined to hear suspended Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope's appeal of three 2018 felony convictions.

Seven members of the supreme court were unanimous in their decision.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal denied Pope's appeal in June, and two 15th Judicial District Court judges in August disqualified the one-term city marshal from running for reelection on Nov. 3.

A jury in October 2018 convicted Pope on three felony counts of malfeasance in office and one perjury charge. Fifteenth Judicial District Court Judge David Smith later dismissed the perjury charge.

Smith sentenced Pope to a year in the Lafayette Parish jail for each of the three counts, suspending all but one year. He also sentenced Pope to 240 hours of community service and ordered him to pay restitution.

Pope was convicted of three felony malfeasance charges for spending public money to hire attorneys for services unrelated to the City Marshal's Office.

In one instance, Pope hired an attorney to try to unseal the divorce records of Mark Garber, who was running against Chad Leger, Pope's friend, for Lafayette Parish sheriff. Garber won the race.

Pope also hired an attorney to represent some of his staff who were summoned to the district attorney's office during an investigation of Pope and hired another attorney using public funds to appeal a contempt of court charge.

He faces more than a dozen additional malfeasance charges that have yet to be tried for taking court fees for his personal use when, according to an attorney general opinion, the money should be used for the City Marshal's Office.


Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.