Louisiana news briefs
Ousted Port Allen mayor to seek re-election
PORT ALLEN (AP) — Former Port Allen Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter, ousted in a recall election, is seeking re-election to the office.
Slaughter filed candidacy paperwork about 2 p.m. Friday for the special mayoral election set for April 5.
Slaughter had been tightlipped about whether she would seek the position again since being forced out following the Nov. 16 recall election.
In December, Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed former Mayor Lynn Robertson to serve as interim mayor until voters select a new full-time mayor.
Qualifying for the spring municipal elections ends at close of business Friday. Other candidates for the position are retired law enforcement officer Richard Lee, retired teacher Kirby Anderson and Leon Goudeau.
N.O. officer shoots, kills man
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An officer who answered a shoplifting report shot and killed a 31-year-old man Sunday in the Hollygrove neighborhood, New Orleans police said.
The officer has been reassigned to desk duty, Superintendent Ronal Serpas said. That’s standard procedure after a police shooting.
Serpas said he had spoken with the man’s parents. “I made a promise to the parents, as I do to the family of the officer involved, that we will investigate this matter thoroughly and completely to get an accurate account of exactly what took place,” he said.
Slidell mayor, police chief
re-elected without opposition
SLIDELL (AP) — Slidell’s mayor and police chief have won second terms without campaigning.
Neither Mayor Freddy Drennan nor Police Chief Randy Smith had an opponent when qualifying for the April 5 election ended Friday.
Both are Republicans.
Drennan says he’s happy he can concentrate on his job instead of having to campaign.
Smith says the lack of opposition shows people think he and his officers are doing a good job.
Search for new Nicholls president cost $87K
THIBODAUX (AP) — A report from Nicholls State University says the search for a new president cost about $87,000.
Nicholls Executive Vice President Larry Howell said the university regards the expense as money well-spent.
The University of Louisiana System paid more than $63,400 of the bill to hire Bruce Murphy.
Murphy formerly was vice president for academic affairs at Air University in Alabama.
The expense included $49,500 paid to the search firm, R.H. Perry and Associates, more than $5,500 for advertising and more than $8,300 for travel and meetings.
A report compiled by the system showed the Southeastern Louisiana University search cost $189,478 in 2009 and the University of Louisiana-Monroe’s search cost $113,488.71 in 2010.
McNeese State paid $96,791 in 2010 for its search.
Insanity ruling in child decapitation
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana father accused of beheading his disabled 7-year-old son was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity Friday, after several experts on mental illness concluded he was delusional and believed that his son was no longer real but had been replaced with a CPR dummy.
State District Judge John LeBlanc made the rare decision in the case against Jeremiah Wright, 32, of Thibodaux. Wright will not face a capital murder trial and will be returned to the state mental hospital in Jackson. That is where he had been held for much of the 2½ years since his son, Jori Lirette, was killed on Aug. 14, 2011. The boy’s head was left in the driveway of the home from which Lirette’s mother, Jesslyn Lirette, planned to evict Wright.
“It was the only ruling, really, that the court could make,” said Lafourche Parish District Attorney Camille “Cam” Morvant. “There was indisputable testimony from experts that Mr. Wright was psychotic and delusional and suffered from a major mental disorder at the time of the crime.”
Although such rulings are rare, Morvant said he had been involved in one about five or six years ago involving a young man from Des Allemands who had killed his father.
Ex-judge gets back law license
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Louisiana Supreme Court on Friday reinstated a former judge’s law license.
In 2009, the Supreme Court removed Joan Benge from the Jefferson Parish bench for letting her relationships with a fellow judge and a plaintiff’s attorney dictate her decision in a case. The court cited evidence that Benge awarded money to a man who had sued over a traffic accident even though she privately said the suit had no merit.
Benge’s reinstatement was recommended by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board.
Benge, who got her law license in 1991, worked as an assistant district attorney in Jefferson Parish before she was elected a district judge in 2001. She gave up her law license after the Supreme Court removed her from office.