Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope has turned himself in to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office the morning after a grand jury issued an indictment against the embattled law enforcement officer, claiming he used office funds to pay off legal debts from his other pending charges.
Pope appeared at the sheriff’s office shortly after 10 a.m. The grand jury issued seven new charges yesterday, saying that Pope used more than $13,000 in monies collected from court fees to pay off existing debt from his ongoing legal fight against five felony counts of malfeasance and two counts of perjury.
Bail for the new charges is set at $5,000 per count, or $35,000.
Although Pope and his predecessor, former Lafayette City Marshal Nicky Picard, had used collected court fees as a portion of their salary, a state attorney general’s opinion issued in late January determined the fees were to be used only for the marshal’s office operational costs. The seven new malfeasance charges are tied to money spent after the AG opinion was released.
Lafayette Parish District Attorney Keith Stutes requested the opinion.
Pope is scheduled for a court date on Sept. 24 on the previous malfeasance and perjury charges. He is set to be arraigned on the new malfeasance charges in October.