Louisiana news briefs
Ex-New Orleans mayor sentencing delayed
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been granted a delay in sentencing on federal corruption charges.
U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan on Thursday set Nagin’s sentencing hearing for July 2 instead of June 11.
Nagin was found guilty in February of money laundering, fraud, bribery and other charges related to his two terms in office. His attorney, Robert Jenkins, asked for the delay this week, saying he needs more time to respond to a lengthy pre-sentence investigation report filed with the court in early May.
In a response filed Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Coman said Nagin has had plenty of time to prepare for sentencing since his Feb. 12 conviction.
“The PSR in this matter is no more voluminous than in other cases and the information pertains to Nagin himself and, accordingly, should come as no surprise,” Coman wrote.
Nagin, a Democrat, served from 2002-2010, including when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. He was convicted on 20 counts, some carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Woman dies in 4 vehicle Ascension Parish crash
SORRENTO (AP) — State police say a 41-year-old Thibodaux woman has died in a four-vehicle crash in Ascension Parish.
The accident happened Thursday afternoon on La. 70 south of Sorrento.
Trooper Jared Sandifer says Tiffany Moore was southbound when she failed to slow down for traffic congestion.
Sandifer says Moore’s car struck the car in front of her setting off a chain reaction. That car struck a third vehicle and Moore’s car was hit in the rear by a pickup.
Sandifer says despite the fact that she was wearing her seatbelt Moore died a short time later at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Gonzales.
NEW IBERIA (AP) — Lafayette-based IberiaBank Corp.’s acquisition of Teche Holding Co. in New Iberia has been approved by Teche shareholders.
Teche shareholders will receive 1.162 shares of common stock of IberiaBank Corp. for each share of Teche common stock.
Teche shareholders would receive about $161 million worth of IberiaBank stock, based on IberiaBank’s closing price Jan. 10, the last trading day before the deal was announced.
Teche is the holding company for Teche Federal Bank, which operates 20 offices in southeast Louisiana.
IberiaBank officials have said they expect the merger to close during the second quarter.
Teche shareholders also approved on Thursday a nonbinding proposal for the compensation that Teche executives may be paid in connection with the merger.
Geaux Cajuns trademarked
LAFAYETTE (AP) — “Geaux Cajuns” is now more than just a rallying cry at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Now, it’s also a registered trademark.
The university said in a Thursday news release that it registered the trademark last month.
The “geaux” in “Geaux Cajuns” is pronounced “go” but uses the “e-a-u-x” spelling familiar in names like Comeaux and Thibodeaux.
Matt Tarver, the university’s assistant director of brand management, notes that the term has been used at the university since the 1980s. And he says the university has used it in commerce since 2009.
Man indicted in fatal
Miss. River bridge crash
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Prosecutors say a 38-year-old Baton Rouge man has been indicted on vehicular homicide charges in a March 30 car crash that killed of two people on the Mississippi River bridge.
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury on Thursday charged Dedrick Deon Matthews with two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injuring.
If convicted, Matthews faces five to 30 years in prison on each vehicular homicide count.
Police say 26-year-old Johnny Galmon and 19-year-old Kandace Cox, both of Baton Rouge, died after their car was struck by Matthews’ car. Two other women inside the victims’ car were treated at hospitals following the crash.
Both cars were headed west on the Interstate 10 bridge when the crash occurred.
Former police lieutenant accused of double dipping
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A Baton Rouge police lieutenant who retired a few days ago has been arrested and accused of clocking in with the department at the same time he was working off-duty security assignments.
Dewayne E. Lee Sr., 52, was booked Thursday on counts of public payroll fraud and malfeasance.
Police say Lee, who retired on Saturday, is accused of working security details at the Fairfield Medical Clinic on at least seven days when he also was being paid by the police department.
The arrest warrant says Lee never had permission from the department to work security for the medical center.
Second man sentenced
in fitness center fraud case
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A Baton Rouge businessman will spend eight months in a halfway house and pay more than $575,000 in restitution for a fraudulent scheme to obtain financing for a Baton Rouge fitness center that never opened.
U.S. District Judge James Brady also ordered Ronald Olah Jr. on Thursday to forfeit an additional $325,000-plus in proceeds from the scheme.
Olah’s former business partner and co-defendant in the case, Matthew Bernard, already is serving 41 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in August to bank fraud. Bernard must pay nearly $250,000 in restitution.
Olah pleaded guilty in November to wire fraud. He will be on probation for two years.
Shreveport police battling bats
SHREVEPORT (AP) — More than two dozen Shreveport Police Department employees temporarily vacated their offices to avoid bats living in an exterior wall.
Deputy Chief Duane Huddleston said staffers should find out by Friday what they can do to evict the bats. The department blocked off access to the meeting room and moved 30 people working near the location to avoid possible health hazards.
Huddleston says someone attending a recent property standards meeting in the department’s assembly room noticed debris along the base of the wall. He says a pest control company told police they have bats.
Officials say bats in cities turn to buildings for shelter during the spring and summer because there’s no natural habitat like dead trees.
Reserve officer charged with malfeasance
SUNSET(AP) — A volunteer police officer in south central Louisiana has been charged with stealing a bag of prescription pills from a police department evidence room.
Sunset Police Chief Alexcie Guillory Sr. said 39-year-old reserve officer Ronald Anthony Duplechain Jr. of Port Barre was arrested Sunday on a charge of malfeasance in office.
Guillory says his department began investigating Saturday when someone told him that evidence was missing. He assigned Assistant Chief Kevin Pugh to the case.
Pugh says the office’s video surveillance system shows Duplechain entering the police department on Friday and removing an evidence bag containing pills that had been seized as part of a traffic stop earlier in the day.
It was unclear if Duplechain has an attorney.