Several students at two high schools in Lafayette become ensnared in one of social media’s ugliest trends: revenge porn. Authorities investigate the emergence of a number of Instagram accounts offering nude photos of the students. Instagram disables the accounts.
C-P Prez Joey Durel ruffles feathers during a Q&A following his annual State of the Parish address with his tone-deaf response to a question about whether an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation is possible for Lafayette: “It’s not something that we in local government will ever, ever deal with. It’s not important. It’s not going to accomplish anything. It’s symbolism over substance...”
Durel tosses a cherry on his confection by characterizing the idea as “silly.”
Durel leaves office at the end of 2015. The issue will be considered at some point.
Walter Guillory, the former executive director of the Lafayette and Opelousas housing authorities, pleads guilty in federal court to soliciting and accepting bribes from vendors and admits his role in a bid-fi xing scheme that benefited a single local contractor.
In June he is sentenced to 28 months in federal prison and one year of supervised release.
Twenty-two-year-old Victor White III, son of a minister, dies under mysterious circumstances in the backseat of an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s cruiser from a single gunshot wound to the chest. White’s hands, according to testimony, were handcuffed behind his back.
Thumbing its nose at logic, the coroner’s office would later rule the death a suicide. Federal investigators have joined the probe, which remains ongoing.
Facing possibly years in federal prison for his alleged role in the Curious Goods synthetic marijuana case, attorney Barry Domingue commits suicide in the backyard of his Carencro home by shooting himself in the head.
Federal Judge Elizabeth Foote declares a mistrial, natch.
The only other remaining defendant in the case who did not plead guilty, high-profile defense attorney Daniel Stanford, has to be rescheduled for trail.
Professional political prostitute and former Councilman Chris Williams cuts a deal with the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development and walks away with $30,000 in exchange for dropping a lawsuit he filed against the HUD-run Lafayette Housing Authority.
Williams had claimed he was owed the money as back pay, even though no rational person with a second-grade grasp of mathematics would reasonably conclude Williams could have possibly worked the hours he claimed.
Under pressure from the Rev. Gene Mills and the Louisiana Family Forum, the Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejects a repeal of the state’s antisodomy law, which is unenforceable because it was ruled unconstitutional years ago.
Supporters of the legal relic argue its presence in Louisiana statute is a symbolic victory for the missionary position.
What were they smoking?
Louisiana lawmakers — in the state with the highest incarceration rate in the world — vote down a bill that would lessen penalties for marijuana possession on a second offense and after, which in some cases can lead to a 20-year prison sentence.
The rejection of this sensible legislation comes amid pressure from the state district attorney association, which argues that the lengthy sentences are a handy bargaining chip when dealing with criminals. We call bulls**t.
State lawmakers also reject legislation that would have raised the minimum wage in Louisiana from the current federal level of $7.25 an hour to $9.50 because ramen noodles and Vienna sausages never hurt nobody.
The Cajun Riviera needs some cleaning. Beaches in Cameron Parish are ranked the worst in the world by Nster, one of those kazillion “content provider” websites within the vast, informative interwebs. The non-scientific ranking takes into consideration many factors that contribute to danger for swimmers — from sharks and crocodiles to pollution, trash, high levels of radiation and ugly people in bathing suits.
Thumbing his nose at Louisiana’s Code of Judicial Conduct, retired District Court Judge Ronald Cox, now serving as an ad hoc city court judge, goes on the campaign trail for his law partner, Charlie Fitzgerald, prompting defense attorney Barry Salinger to file a motion seeking Cox’s recusal on all pending cases.
The Legislature makes a mockery of reforms to the payday loan industry, ultimately approving “changes” tantamount to diet water and allowing payday lenders to continue charging astronomical interest rates on short-term, small-dollar loans to the poor that serve one purpose: keeping them in a cycle of debt for the sake of a profit.
Weak-kneed lawmakers, overwhelmingly male, also couldn’t bring themselves to approve bills that would have made it illegal to pay men more than women for the same work. Explain your votes to your mothers, boys!
Frustrated by a discussion with engineers during a meeting, Lafayette Regional Airport Director Greg Roberts “jokingly” pulls out a fake handgun — the type used by the federal Transportation Security Administration as a training device — and points it at one of the engineers. Roberts resigns soon after because fake guns don’t kill people; airport directors do.
Citing an anonymous source, this newspaper reveals the reason for Roberts’ departure before a press conference is held — a presser that doesn’t reveal the reason anyway. Lafayette’s milquetoast dailies, which don’t use anonymous sources because Watergate never happened, report the “revelation” a week later. Meh.
Flip-Flopper-in-Chief Bobby Jindal gets into a heated standoff with state Superintendent John White over the Common Core school curriculum. Jindal once supported CC until he figured out the Tea Party hates it, so now he hates it, too, because Obama. The dispute throws into limbo scores of school districts and their curricula- and purchasing plans for the fast-approaching school year.
Jindal signs a bill overwhelmingly approved in the legislative session allowing the state to keep brain-dead pregnant women on life support so their fetuses can be harvested, er, brought to term and delivered, even if the patient’s family opposes such a measure. “Hey, Billy Bob, so sorry your wife is a vegetable, but as a consolation prize we’re going to give you a baby with life-threatening congenital disorders! Don’t have insurance but would qualify for Medicaid if the governor would approve expansion under Obamacare? Aw, tough luck, buddy! Next!”
Gov. Bobby Jindal signs Senate Bill 250 into law grandfathering corpulent, smarmy Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin, who holds a permit to keep a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger caged as a road-side curiosity at his fumey Grosse Tete business. (The permit had been revoked after a 2006 law prohibiting individual ownership of exotic animals.)
An animal rights group continues to try to secure the transfer of “Tony” to a licensed big-cat sanctuary.
Chuck Huebner, the veteran anchor and investigative reporter at KLFY TV10, is fired.
One source tells The IND Huebner’s departure was “a cumulative thing,” citing long-running tensions between the savvy newsman and management as well as between Huebner and fellow news staffers. Huebner’s exodus is a punctuation mark behind KLFY’s inexorable decline over the last decade from market dominance to also-ran against competitor KATC.
There is no salve for the wound caused in Acadiana by clergy sex abuse, and an investigative report by Minnesota Public Broadcasting opens it even wider in revealing that one alleged child predator has remained with the Diocese, and currently serves as the pastor of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette.
Bishop Michael Jarrel, implicated in a sex-abuse coverup by a watchdog group when he was head of the Houma Diocese, defends the suspect priest before parishioners, who give their pastor a standing ovation after he defends himself from the pulpit.
Speaking of the Cat’licks, an anonymous group of parents at Our Lady of Fatima School attempt a coup in an effort to oust Principal Joni Duos. The parents’ grievances, detailed in an IND special report, include the countenancing of bullying among students, a teaching staff afraid for their jobs if they speak out and a head priest, the Rev. Michael Russo, who ignores the problems and wears fancy loafers.
Sentencing begins for the crew including the coowners in the Desperado’s Cabaret drugs- and prostitution-ring case. Owners James and Jennifer Panos, sentenced last — in November — get six and four years in prison, respectively, while co-owner Dipak Vora gets 10 months. Most of the employees arrested in the federal sting operation receive probation and fi nes.
The other shoe falls for criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford, found guilty by a federal jury on 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods “synthetic marijuana” case including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analogue (AM-2201) and conspiracy to introduce misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
In a startling-at-the-time deviation from a trend by federal judges, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman upholds both Louisiana’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as well as the state’s refusal to recognize such marriages performed in states where it is legal.