Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope has been convicted of being in violation of the state’s public records law.
Pope’s attorney has filed an appeal.
The marshal’s court ordered sentence includes serving seven days jail time; postponed to start on Monday.
“We’ve also filed a motion for the sentence to be suspended pending our appeal,” said Attorney Kevin Stockstill, who represents Pope.
“Of course, we’re planning to appeal it. I told him to keep his head up which he’s doing. We’re going to bring it up to the 3rd circuit and hopefully get a different decision,” Stockstill said.
Pope’s attorney notes that his client has returned to work, “He’s doing the job and will continue to chase fugitives of the Lafayette City Court. That’s what he was elected to do and that’s what he’s going to do.”
The public records lawsuit was filed by The Independent.
In October, Pope held a news conference in which he took a stance regarding a then-candidate for sheriff.
The attorney for The Independent newspaper says when asked to release the emails pertaining to the news conference apparently Pope refused.
Gary McGoffin, who represents the newspaper, says the case is about holding an elected official accountable for the use of public resources and power.
“The public is supposed to be able to come in and see how business is being conducted and that did not happen in this case,” McGoffin adds.
In addition to serving jail time, Pope was ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in penalties and fines.
McGoffin explains that if Pope doesn’t pay, then the marshal’s office could be held accountable for it.
“It makes the custodian personally responsible. They can’t sit there and play games with the public’s money. It’s their personal duty, because of the office they hold. They have that responsibility,” McGoffin said.