Lafayette Marshal Brian Pope booked, released after felony indictment (copy)

Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope

Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope cannot use revenue from City Court civil fees for his own salary, according to a Louisiana Attorney General's opinion issued Monday.

The opinion, however, does say he can use those revenues for his office's expenses.

The opinion was requested by District Attorney Keith Stutes, who is prosecuting Pope on perjury and malfeasance in office charges. 

The city marshal is allowed to collect the fees on civil matters, the opinion says, adding that "these fees are not payable to the Marshal as compensation, but should be placed into an account for the exclusive use of the Marshal for the expenses of his office."

The opinion, which originally was requested by Pope last spring, was wasn't released before now because Pope wouldn't authorize it.

The Attorney General's Office later said any elected official could request the same opinion. So, Stutes did. The opinion is dated Jan. 29, 2018.

Since 2015, Pope has wrongfully applied more than $300,000 from city court fees for his own salary, a motion seeking to revoke Pope's probation in a contempt-of-court conviction in a public records case alleges.

Meanwhile, Pope still faces seven felony counts which in part accuse him of using public funds to support a candidate for office in the sheriff's race.

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