Jan 7, 2013 3:36 PM by Ian Auzenne
Documents filed in federal court last week provide more details into the bribery investigation into two St. Landry Parish School Board Members. According to federal prosecutors, Quincy Richard and John Miller held "a number of private meetings" in the summer with Acting Superintendent Joseph Cassimere, who is a candidate for the superintendent's position. The documents say Richard and Miller "negotiated a price and payment" from Cassimere in exchange for favorable votes. Prosecutors say the initial amount proposed was $7,500 for each member, but Cassimere eventually payed only $5,000 to each.
According to prosecutors, Cassimere met Miller and Richard at at the Quarters Restaurant and Casino in Opelousas on September 24 to hand over the money. Federal officials allege Miller and Richard told Cassimere the money "had secured their services . . . to secure votes" and an inflated salary for Cassimere. The documents say FBI agents confronted Miller and Richard after the exchange and recovered the payments. However, the agents did not arrest the two because they were not deemed to be flight risks. The election, which was scheduled for September 26, was postponed indefinitely.
Federal prosecutors point out Cassimere worked in conjunction with the FBI in this case. Richard's attorneys are looking to have the federal charges dismissed, claiming the allegations do not involve actions that directly impacted the spending of federal money.