Richard convicted of seeking bribe
LAFAYETTE — A federal judge has denied a request by former St. Landry Parish School Board member Quincy Richard Sr. to remain free while appealing his 33-month prison sentence on bribery charges.
In a sharply worded order filed Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Haik shot down Richard’s request to push back the March 4 deadline he faces to report to federal prison.
Richard was convicted last year of soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a candidate for superintendent to secure the board member’s vote of support.
“The evidence was so overwhelming against the defendant that a jury of 12 people returned a verdict of guilty on two counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in approximately one hour,” the judge wrote in his ruling denying Richard’s request for a reprieve.
“The testimony was that the entire bribery was recorded on video and verified by two credible witnesses who absolutely portrayed the defendant for what he is, an extortionist.”
Richard’s attorney had argued in court filings over the weekend that the former board member should be allowed to remain free pending an appeal of his case because he is not a flight risk, poses no danger to the community and will present a “substantive case” to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Haik had denied a similar verbal request at Richard’s sentencing hearing Feb. 4.
A federal grand jury indicted Richard and former board member John Miller in 2012 for soliciting bribes of $5,000 each from superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere in return for their vote to give him the job.
Cassimere did not get the job. The board selected Edward Brown.
Miller pleaded guilty and testified against Richard.
Cassimere, who reported the bribery attempt to federal authorities, then cooperated in the investigation, also took the stand against Richard.
The key evidence in the case was a video secretly recorded by the FBI showing Richard pocketing a white envelope stuffed with cash in a set-up exchange with Cassimere at an Opelousas restaurant.
Haik sentenced Miller in November to 10 months home confinement, a lighter sentence than Richard because Miller pleaded guilty and cooperated with investigators.