Parenton announces candidacy for judgeship

O'Neil Parenton Jr.
O'Neil Parenton Jr.

Assistant District Attorney O’Neil Parenton Jr. says his 28 years of private and public legal experience allow him to bring “fairness, integrity and compassion to the bench” if he is elected judge this fall in the 23rd Judicial District.

Parenton, 58, an independent, said his decision to run for the Division A seat being vacated by retiring Judge Ralph Tureau is part of his lifelong commitment to community service.

Parenton said he has been a felony prosecutor, violent crime gun prosecutor, adviser to numerous parish boards and commissions and legal counsel to industry.

In addition to a private practice, Parenton is legal adviser to Ascension Parish government and represents the Parish Council, the parish president and numerous departments and boards throughout Ascension.

“I am offering to put my 28 years of experience in prosecuting criminals, representing families, individuals and government entities to work for the people of the three parishes and render fair decisions based on the law,” Parenton said.

The 23rd Judicial District Court encompasses Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.

The election is Nov. 4. Fellow Assistant District Attorney Jason Verdigets also is running for the seat, a campaign website says.

Early voting begins Oct. 21.

Parenton, who resides and practices in Prairieville, began his legal career in Donaldsonville in 1985. He’s been an assistant district attorney for the past 12 years, serving under former District Attorney Anthony “Tony” Falterman and present DA Ricky L. Babin.

“My job as a prosecutor was to be a voice for the victims of crime and make sure the people who committed crimes were punished,” Parenton said.

“I also understand that there are times when a young person simply makes a mistake and needs to be given a second chance.”

Parenton is a past president of the Donaldsonville Rotary Club, a former member of Ascension Catholic School Board and served as a volunteer coach with Donaldsonville Recreational Department and Most Blessed Sacrament School.

Parenton is a graduate of Leadership Ascension, a member of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce and Catholic High Men’s Club. He is a graduate of Jesuit High School in New Orleans, LSU and Southern University School of Law.

O’Neil Parenton and his wife of 34 years, Lisa Savoie Parenton, have three children.