Opinion: Lou Gehrig Burnett – Bossier justice on the political hot seat

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Bossier justice on the political hot seat

It’s another politically touchy and sensitive situation for law enforce- ment and judicial entities in Bossier City and Bossier Parish.

Back in May, it was a scandal involving Police Juror Rick Avery who was arrested
for DWI. He raised a ruckus at the Bossier City police station and was eventually let go without proper procedures being followed.

And because of his political clout, police officers who
handled his situation at the station were either fired or suspended, leaving many citizens with the impression that favoritism was shown to Avery.

Now comes the case of attorney William “Jarred” Franklin, who was arrested at Horseshoe Casino for being drunk and disorderly, which resulted in the firing of the casino’s security chief.

The incident took place on August 22. Franklin was booked into jail on charges of disturbing the peace while appearing drunk, disturbing the peace by using bad language in pub- lic, and with remaining after being forbidden. It was all caught on video.

The firing of the security chief by Horseshoe has also come under criticism after many citizens viewed the confrontation on the video on The Inquisitor website.

Bossier City Attorney Jimmy Hall has sent a letter to Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin recusing himself from prosecuting the case. Hall is a member of the Caddo-Bossier Port Commission.

It turns out that Franklin’s finance, Kathy French, is the Director of Community Relations at the Port at a salary of $86,310 a year. Therefore, Franklin has attended many Port functions.

The Inquisitor, in its article, wonders what Marvin will do because Franklin has been a high-dollar contributor to Marvin’s campaigns. The newspaper also revealed that Franklin has contributed to District Judges Jeff Cox, Mike Nerren, and Parker Self.

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the coming weeks. To be sure, a lot of eyes will be watching.

GOP gloves are off

There have been some punches thrown by some of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, but with recent developments, the gloves are off. And, yes, that dreaded word “prostitute” has surfaced in this race just as it had in the governor’s race.

It all began with the publication of a book entitled “Murder in the Bayou,” which examines the murders of eight prostitutes in Jefferson Davis Parish in the mid-2000s. It is alleged in the book that Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, who is running for the Senate, was involved with prostitutes.

The book, authored by Ethan Brown, doesn’t claim that Boustany had anything to do with the murders, but said that one of his staffers, Martin Guillory, helped operate a hotel in Jennings allegedly frequented by the prostitutes and that Boustany used their services.

Boustany vehemently denied the allegations in a conference call press conference, and Guillory, a field representative, has resigned. Boustany was hoping, of course, that by addressing the allegations, the story would quickly go away. No such luck. It was apparently too juicy a tidbit for other Senate candidates to ignore and, as some politicos assert, they wanted to keep the flames burning.

State Treasurer John Kennedy, a Republican, issued a statement which said that the Boustany campaign had sent out an e-mail alleging that the Kennedy campaign played a role in the revelations about Boustany.

Kennedy said: “I want to be very clear that my campaign played absolutely no role in creating this story alleging Congressman Boustany’s sexual relationships with prostitutes that were later murdered, his staff’s alleged involvement in running the bar and hotel where this illicit behavior took place, or publishing the book ‘Murder in the Bayou.’

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.