Suspended Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope has been ordered to appear in court for possibly having violated his probation stemming from a public records lawsuit he lost to a local newspaper.
District Court Judge Jules Edwards has ordered Pope to court on Aug. 10 to show why his probation should not be revoked. The order alleges Pope has provided no proof that he has completed court-mandated community service.
In August 2018, Edwards sentenced Pope to 30 days in jail, suspending all but 168 hours, which he was allowed to serve on house arrest. Edwards also placed Pope on two years' probation which included 173 hours of community service consisting of teaching others about the Louisiana Public Records Act and the consequences of failure to abide by the law.
As an alternative, Pope was allowed to pick up litter to fulfill his community service hours.
Pope's probation expires Aug. 29.
The Independent sued Pope in 2015 for not providing public records, specifically emails, requested under the state's public records law. The newspaper prevailed, but Pope still did not comply with the judge's order to provide all of the requested documents to the newspaper, which led to the criminal charges.
Pope's legal problems only got worse. In October 2018, a jury found Pope guilty of malfeasance and perjury but Judge David Smith dismissed the perjury charge. On July 10, Pope lost his appeal but plans to ask the state supreme court to consider the conviction.
As a convicted felon, Pope was automatically suspended without pay. With an appeal pending, he was allowed to fill paperwork to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot for reelection to the City Marshal post.
Pope faces additional felony malfeasance charges for supplementing his salary with fees that are supposed to be deposited in the city marshal's office fund, not his personal account, according to an opinion from the state Attorney General's Office.