Judge Orders St. Landry School Board Member to Step Down
District judge Judge James Doherty has ordered St. Landry Parish School Board member Quincy Richard to vacate his seat.
Judge Doherty gave the order in 27th Judicial District court on Tuesday. He agreed with St. Landry Parish District Attorney Earl Taylor and prosecutor Jennifer Ardoin that Richard was ineligible to hold public office. Richard was elected in 2006.
Doherty ruled Richard violated a constitutional mandate that convicted felons must wait 15 years after their sentence ends, unless they receive a governor’s pardon to qualify for public office.
Richard plead guilty to falsifying public records in 2004, stemming from a grade-buying scandal at Southern University, in which he received two years probation. Richard was on the school board at the time and resigned as condition of the plea bargain. The court record was expunged in 2006 and Richard was elected to the school board that year. He won reelection in 2010.
Taylor challenged Richard's eligibility in April. At Monday's hearing, Richard’s son and attorney, argued that precedent ruled in his father’s favor. He contended previous challenges to candidacy occurred within a seven-day window for challenging election results. He also claimed that expungement set aside the conviction, effectively making Richard no-longer a convicted felon.
Judge Doherty agreed with prosecutor Jennifer Ardoin's assertion that Richard had nonetheless been convicted of a felony, and ordered him to step down.
I'm appalled that he was allowed to sit on the board in the first place.