Holy moly, Pope’s deputy count swells to 84

by Leslie Turk

The marshal provided only 64 deputies' names on Jan. 21, but records from the Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court reveal that the number has grown significantly.

Nickey Picard will surely be shaking his head even harder today.

Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope
Photo by Wynce Nolley

On Monday The Independent reported in the story “Pope & His Posse” that records obtained in late January from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office revealed that Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope had deputized 72 individuals since taking over the position in January 2015. The overwhelming majority of them are reserve deputies who are supposed to serve as a support staff for full-time deputies.

“That’s 10 times what I had,” Picard, Pope’s predecessor who served for three decades, told The IND for that story. Pope, however, provided The IND with the names of only 64 individuals for that same time period.

Picard, by contrast, swore in a total of seven deputies in his last two years in office, the LPSO’s records show.

When asked in an early March why his deputy numbers didn’t jibe with those from the LPSO, which as a courtesy printed the deputies’ commission cards for Pope (a courtesy Pope appears to no longer be taking advantage of), the marshal responded in a written statement that the Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court, which administers the oath to the deputies, and the Louisiana secretary of state “maintain the master listing of all commissioned deputies.” Pope also said in the statement that he was “not privy to any alleged commissioned deputy list generated by the [LPSO].” In fact, the marshal said he got the list he provided the paper from the clerk’s office.

In effect, if names were missing, it wasn’t his fault. And he didn’t seem to care, likely because he long ago lost track. Ironically, Pope’s own new website states that the office has “up to ten reserve deputies at one time.”

Records obtained Tuesday from the clerk’s office show just how short his numbers fall, revealing 20 more names than Pope submitted to the paper on Jan. 21. Perhaps more disturbing is that the record-breaking pace of commissioning deputies — nothing more than political patronage when it comes to the bulk of the reserves — has continued since The IND began inquiring about the commissions in January. Eleven of those missing 20 were commissioned after the paper submitted its original public records request in mid-January, leaving nine unaccounted for in Pope’s initial response.

According to the clerk’s records, Marshal Pope, who is under grand jury investigation for his actions related to a public records dispute with this paper, has now sworn in a whopping 84 deputies.

[Editor's Note: In fairness to the full-time deputy marshals, we have adjusted this list to reflect their status. Their names (the ones provided to this paper by the marshal in late January) now appear in bold face. The IND submitted a public records request to the marshal on Aug. 3 to determine if any of the more recently commissioned marshals are full-time employees. We will update the list once he responds.]

  1. Charles Clause
    2. Steven L. Dunn
    3. Floyd Antley
    4. Jeffrey Mahler
    5. Shane Duplechin
    6. Allan Roger
    7. Rodney Paul LeBlanc
    8. Sallie Spears
    9. Darlene Noel
    10. Julie Albarado
  2. Philip Conrad
    12. Amber Vincent Hatley
    13. Dean Harry Paul Morgan
    14. Jean Paul Broussard
    15. Nathan G. Broussard
    16. Kevin R. Poirrier
    17. William R. Delahoussaye
    18. Ernest Roy Payne Jr.
    19. Kimberly G. Guidry (resigned)
    20. Armound J. Alwert
    21. Emma Ray Hebert (Ret.)
    22. Shaquille O’Neal
    23. Michael McQuade
    24. Bobby Rhyne
    25. Myron Fonseca
    26. Victor Rodriguez
    27. Brandon Briscoe
    28. Charles Burnell
    29. Derrick D. Mallet
    30. Michael D. Mallet
    31. Ernest J. Guilbeau
    32. Darville Jolivette (Ret.)
    33. Joseph Milton Benoit (Ret.)
    34. Taufiq M. Sekhani
    35. Kyler Folse
    36. Sanford Menard
    37. Tim Breaux
    38. Chris Wadlington (resigned)
    39. Billy Barrett Jr.
    40. Brian Doiron
    41. Raney Redmond
    42. Brannon Decou
    43. Kevin Mire
    44. Jacob Williamson
    45. Kenneth Franques
    46. Frank Michael DiBenedetto
    47. Oren Haydel
    48. Joseph Allgood
    49. Chris Starling
    50. Keith Talamo
    51. Gregory Scott Carriere
    52. Lane Cortez
  3. Joseph R. Calliet Jr.
    54. Ronald J. Mahtook
    55. Madeline Domingue Breaux
    56. Ricky Carmelo Williams
    57. Thomas Gregory LeBlanc
    58. Francis Fontenot
    59. Arif Shad
    60. Virginia Lee
    61. Mark B. Chaisson
    62. Daniel Viator
    63. Nolvey Stelly Jr.
    64. Michael E. McKinney
    65. Karli Brooke Haydel
    66. Robert Scott McElligott
    67. William Howard McElligott
    68. Gary P. Copes
    69. Sean Paul Stelly
    70. Troy M. Venable
    71. Kevin Porrier
  4. Leroy Calais
  5. Tyrell Fenroy
    74. Knowles Leroy Jones
    75. David Menard
    76. Robert G. Cormier
    77. Tommy Caillier
    78. Rene Prejean
    79. Glen Clay Higgins
    80. Harold Wax
    81. Clarence Glenn
    82. Brennan Miller
    83. April Lavergne
    84. Paul Marion Toce III