The father of 21-year-old William Cody Iasigi, killed in a hit-and-run crash June 15 in St. Helena Parish by Livingston Parish School Board President Malcolm Sibley, is ready to end a fight he feels he can’t win.
Iasigi’s family has expressed outrage over Sibley’s case, especially after a St. Helena grand jury indicted Sibley on a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge instead of the felony count he was booked on.
Family members have said they believe Sibley is getting an overly generous deal and deserves stiff punishment.
“It’s been an ordeal,” said Bill Iasigi, when reached by telephone Thursday at his home in Liberty, Miss. “I hope nobody has to go through this, but I’m sure there’s going to be other people, as time rolls on, that have to go through this same crap.”
Sibley is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in the St. Helena Parish Courthouse.
Sibley, 66, of Weiss Road in Walker, is expected to plead no contest to a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge in front of 21st Judicial District Judge Bob Morrison.
Sibley thought he would make his plea Nov. 8, but Judge Elizabeth Wolfe, who was handling the docket that day, decided to delay the case and let Morrison, the judge assigned to Sibley’s case, take the plea.
Bill Iasigi said his family has managed to stay strong together, but they’re all ready to put this ordeal to bed.
“My son’s gone, and no matter what happens tomorrow, ain’t nothing gonna bring him back,” Iasigi said.
The younger Iasigi was driving on La. 43 just outside Greensburg near the parish Police Jury building when he and his rear-seat passenger, Thomas Bailey, began arguing, State Police have said.
William Iasigi pulled over the white 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup he was driving.
Bailey got out and began walking south on the road, but Iasigi made a U-turn and stopped in the southbound lane. Iasigi exited the vehicle and stood next to it, leaving the driver’s door open. That’s when Sibley’s northbound truck reportedly hit him, authorities have said.
Sibley later admitted to being the hit-and-run driver after troopers approached him at his home the following day. He was booked into the St. Helena Parish Jail on one count of felony hit-and-run and given a $500 bail.
Sibley’s attorney, Sherman Mack, has said Sibley thought he hit a deer or metal object and did not see a person in the roadway. He has said Sibley regrets the accident and is ready to accept his punishment.
Mack did not return phone calls Thursday for comment.
Iasigi’s family in October filed a civil lawsuit against Sibley seeking damages. That case is still pending in court.
Sibley’s no-contest plea means he is not admitting guilt but will not contest the hit-and-run charge. It has the same effect as a guilty plea in criminal court, and Louisiana law still considers a no contest plea as a conviction if a sentence is imposed. But it can’t be used as an admission of guilt in civil court.
Sibley, a Democrat from Walker, won his first election to the School Board in 1994. He lost his seat in 2006 but regained it in 2010.
He represents Doyle High, Doyle Elementary, Frost School, North Corbin Elementary, North Corbin Junior High and half of Holden.
Sibley has missed only one board meeting since his arrest. He has not said anything about a possible re-election bid later this year when his term expires.
Board members have lauded Sibley’s time as a School Board member, and the board unanimously voted Jan. 16 to rename Sibley as board president for 2014.
But board members have generally shied away from the pending court case.
Board member Keith Martin said he believes Sibley, and the board as a whole, has not let the crash affect his work.
“We’re carrying on business,” Martin said. “We’re not worried about anything outside to disrupt us.”
Sibley was on his way to see his purported girlfriend, Charlotte Frazier, of Kentwood, when he hit and killed Iasigi, according to a State Police report into the crash.
Sibley has been married to the former Johnice Diane Duffy since 1967. They have three children.
Mack, Sibley’s attorney, has repeatedly said his client was driving around for work related to his timber company at the time of the crash. He has said Frazier’s identity is irrelevant to the crash.
William Iasigi’s blood-alcohol content level was 0.22 percent, or nearly three times the state’s legal limit of 0.08 for driving, at the time of the crash, according to a State Police blood analysis.
Sibley turned himself in more than 24 hours after the accident and was not given an alcohol test.
The state Attorney General’s Office in July began investigating the crash at the request of 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, who said he chose to recuse his office from the case because Sibley’s daughter, LeAnn, at one time worked at his office.