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Follow-up on Louisiana’s LACE

Regular readers of our Lake Charles legal blog will recall that early this year we wrote a post about problems with LACE (Local Agency Compensated Enforcement), a program designed to strengthen local law enforcement agencies across Louisiana. LACE was funded by local district attorneys who contracted with the State Police to have troopers help local agencies enforce traffic laws.

Unfortunately, LACE developed legal problems of its own. We read recently that a former state trooper from Calcasieu Parish's Troop D is one of four law enforcement officers arrested as part of the investigation into possible misuse of LACE funds.

The former trooper resigned his position. According to a news report, he was arrested on 74 counts of injuring public records (LRS 14:132) and a single count of malfeasance in office (LRS 14:134). He was taken into custody, along with two current state troopers and one other former trooper.

The others arrested include an East Baton Rouge Parish trooper arrested on two counts of filing false public records and one count of felony theft (greater than $15,000). Also arrested, was a former trooper from the same parish, charged with four counts of filing false public records and one count of felony theft.

The other current officer arrested is from Rapides Parish. He has been charged with 14 counts of injuring public records and a single count of malfeasance in office.

Of course, these men have rights that must be protected. Allegations of wrongdoing are not enough to convict them of anything – the state must produce evidence that crimes were committed.

Skilled criminal defense attorneys defend due process and the constitutional rights that protect us and our liberty.

If you have been accused of a crime, contact our law firm to learn how we can safeguard your rights and freedom at every step of the legal process.

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