News Briefs

Indictments handed down, The Times fires Don Allen and more


After more than a year of investigation, the state Attorney General's office last week handed down an indictment of Assistant District Attorney J. Floyd Johnson for allegedly abusing his wife, Lysandra, over a three-day period in May 2004.

Johnson has denied the allegations in news reports.

Police were called to a local hospital after Johnson brought his wife in for what he said were severe migraines, though she had swelling in her face and a red eye. Johnson offered to resign, but District Attorney Mike Harson instead suspended him for two weeks and ordered him to undergo anger management counseling.

Last year Harson told The Daily Advertiser that Johnson would likely keep his job even if convicted of the domestic abuse charge. The AG's office handled the investigation because Johnson works for Harson.

Since Johnson's arrest, he has continued to prosecute domestic violence cases, according to the daily paper, and is the lead prosecutor in the Alexuia Feast case, the October 2004 killing of a 13-year-old who had been removed from her Lafayette home by authorities because of allegations of abuse. ' LT


If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The old adage is still taking time to sink in throughout Vermilion Parish, where Attorney General Charles Foti last week cracked down on an alleged scam that bilked 150 investors, including government officials and lawyers and judges, out of more than $1 million.

A Vermilion Parish grand jury indicted six men ' three from California and two actors with local roots (hired to conduct seminars to attract investors) ' for racketeering, criminal conspiracy and securities fraud.

Roland Peltier was one of the men indicted. A veteran officer with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Department, he still believes in the product at the heart of the alleged scam ' an oilfield cleanup concoction the AG's office says is nothing more than household chemicals. Peltier invested in the product, which was marketed by Environmental Soil Services.

Peltier and former Vermilion Parish Sheriff Ray Lemaire's company, RnR Environmental, also shared office space on Jefferson Street in Abbeville with ESS. He says the company never did any work as RnR, which he calls a "holding corporation" formed for potential ventures but not for the ESS. ' LT


Veteran Lafayette writer Don Allen, whose "Out of Bounds" sports column has been published in the Times of Acadiana for approximately 19 years, was fired by the paper last week.

Times Managing Editor Doug Gruse and Times General Manager Eric Benjamin declined comment on Allen's termination. Allen also declined comment.

Allen has been a fixture of the Acadiana sports scene for decades, first making his mark as a play-by-play announcer for UL Lafayette football. He began writing for the Times as a freelancer and was promoted to full-time staff writer in the fall of 2004. Allen has also hosted sports talk shows for radio stations KBOL and KPEL. In addition to his sports column and features for the Times, he co-authored the "He Said, She Said" movie review column with Patricia Gannon, which was recently discontinued and replaced with a syndicated column by a New York-based movie critic. ' SJ


Dogs can be the bane of a mailman's existence, especially when a canine's bite turns out to be worse than its bark. But a Houma mailman got an unexpected surprise last week when a man bit him.

According to The Courier newspaper, the postman saw a dog chained in the yard, and figured the coast was clear to deliver the mail. But when he entered the property, a barking man ran up to the mail carrier, bit him on the shoulder, and ran back inside the house.

Police arrested 20-year-old Mark D. Plumb and charged him with simple battery. "I've never heard of something like this," Terrebone Parish Postmaster Bill Frye told The Courier. ' SJ