Ex-alderman facing charges

Former Slaughter Alderman Thomas “T.J.” Boothe faces state ethics charges related to his alleged misuse of public office.

The Louisiana Board of Ethics posted the charges on its website Wednesday and asked the Ethics Adjudicatory Board to conduct a hearing on the allegations.

The counts stem from events during and following a May 6, 2011, traffic stop.

Two Slaughter police officers had detained a resident of the town. The Ethics Board alleges then-Alderman Boothe arrived at the scene. He disobeyed a warning to leave. He was subsequently arrested.

“During the course of Mr. Boothe’s arrest, he threatened to have the reserve officers terminated, if they continued to proceed with the arrest,” according to the charge document.

One of the officers threatened by Boothe, Sean Leteff, was terminated by the town of Slaughter later in May, the Ethics Board alleged. Leteff had been hired on March 29, 2011, to work 32 police contract hours a week at $10 an hour for three months.

The board said Boothe violated a law that bans public servants from using the authority of their office or position directly or indirectly “to compel or coerce any person.” The board also cited another statute related to wrongful suspension, demotion or dismissal of an employee who reports an impropriety.

Boothe could not be reached for comment. The telephone listing for his residence had been disconnected.

Boothe served two terms as a member of the Board of Aldermen in Slaughter from June 2004 to June 2012.

Boothe pleaded no contest in July 2011 to a misdemeanor charge of interfering with a police investigation. He was sentenced to a suspended 90-day parish jail term and fined $250 plus court costs. Boothe was also placed on supervised probation for one year on the condition he complete an anger-management course.