Suspended St. Landry official appealing conviction

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Suspended St. Landry Parish School Board member Quincy Richard (REE'-shard) has appealed his August federal corruption convictions.

A jury convicted Richard of bribery, aiding and abetting bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery last month.

Testimony showed that Richard and a fellow former board member solicited a bribe from Joseph Cassimere, who was seeking the job of parish schools superintendent.

The Advertiser of Lafayette reports (http://bit.ly/17VoRuT ) that, in a motion filed Tuesday, Richard's son and lawyer, Quincy Richard Jr., argued that his father did not know money was in an envelope that a surveillance video showed him accepting from Cassimere.

Richard Jr. also contends in the appeal that the alleged crime did not fall under federal jurisdiction.

The appeal contends that the St. Landry Parish School System and St. Landry Parish School Board are not synonymous with each other. Because the federal money went to the school system instead of the school board, Richard Jr. said, there was no federal case to be made.

The appeal also argues that a conviction would require that money be of value to both parties involved in the bribe and because the FBI provided the $5,000, it was of no value to Cassimere.

The appeal said that no testimony claimed Richard directly asked for money in exchange for a vote in favor of Cassimere. In a video recording, when Cassimere presents the envelopes, he first advised Miller and Richard that they should say the envelopes contained school board committee documents. He later said the envelopes contained "50s and 100s." Richard Jr. said his father believed the envelopes contained documents and not money.

Testimony from the FBI agents conducting the sting operation detailed how Richard corrected an initial miscount of the money in the envelope and also that Richard told them he planned on using the money to buy new rims and tires for his Chevrolet Corvette.

The appeal also argues that a conviction would require that money be of value to both parties involved in the bribe and because the FBI provided the $5,000, it was of no value to Cassimere.

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