Board seeks penalties from former official
LAFAYETTE — A former St. Landry Parish School Board member in federal prison for soliciting a bribe from a candidate for superintendent is now facing charges from the state Board of Ethics.
The Ethics Board, in charges made public Monday, is seeking unspecific penalties from Quincy Richard Sr., who was convicted last year of trying to squeeze $5,000 from superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere to secure the board member’s vote of support.
Richard reported to prison in March to begin serving a 33-month sentence.
The ethics charges stem from the same facts in the federal bribery case.
“That’s kind of like having belts and suspenders. He’s already in jail,” said Quincy Richard Jr., the former board member’s son and attorney.
The son said Monday he had not seen documentation on the ethics charges.
A federal grand jury indicted Richard Sr. and former board member John Miller in 2012 for soliciting bribes of $5,000 each from Cassimere in return for their vote to give him the job and for their efforts to sway other board members.
Cassimere reported the bribery attempt to federal authorities, then cooperated in an investigation that culminated with a set-up exchange at a restaurant in Opelousas, where FBI agents captured video of Miller and Richard Sr. pocketing cash-stuffed envelopes.
Miller, who pleaded guilty, testified against Richard Sr. and later received a sentence of 10 months’ home confinement.
Richard Sr. has appealed his sentence.
The former board member petitioned U.S. District Judge Richard Haik to allow him to remain free pending a decision on that appeal, but the judge shot down that request in a ruling that characterized the evidence in the case as “overwhelming.”
“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,” the judge wrote.
No hearing date has been set on Richard Sr.’s ethics charges.