Who do you think should manage Ferriday water?|
Story Archives: Waterproof mayor jailed following conviction
- 2013 - 300 articles
- 2012 - 856 articles
- 2011 - 635 articles
- 2010 - 1276 articles
- 2009 - 1591 articles
- 2008 - 1763 articles
|Waterproof mayor jailed following conviction|
Waterproof Mayor Bobby Higginbotham was jailed Wednesday following his conviction of malfeasance in office and felony theft.
He will be sentenced on June 24th by Judge John Crigler, who ordered that Higginbotham be held without bond because he was considered a flight risk. The judge said Higginbotham had missed several court hearings in the past.
Higginbotham was convicted by a six-person jury. He was represented by attorney Sandra Jenkins of New Orleans. Four witnesses, including himself, were called during his defense.
He faces a maximum of five years on the charge of malfeasance in office and a maximum of 10 years for felony theft.
Asst. Dist. Atty. Linda Watson said the judge ordered a partial mistrial on a count of public contract fraud due a recording error, but that charge can be brought up again.
"We felt we had a strong case," said Watson, "The entire town council testified against him as well as employees of the Town of Waterproof. We did expect a guilty verdict."
Sixth Judicial Dist. Atty. Jim Paxton said prior to the conviction that there was "irrefutable" evidence that the mayor "changed his salary from $12,000 to $36,000 annually and there is testimony from the town council that they had no knowledge he did that nor did they give him authorization."
Paxton also said the state has demonstrated during the trial how malfeasance was committed when Higginbotham took trips across the country without the knowledge or authorization of the town council.
"He stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, a very expensive hotel, on some of the trips and didn't provide any financial records until the town was forced to go to court to get the records," said Paxton. "The Legislative Auditor discovered these expenses."
Paxton said the six-week break in the proceedings due to a stay order by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport "was certainly not what we would have preferred. We had presented our evidence and this has given the defense a break to prepare a response. It put the District Attorney's office at a disadvantage."
Because he has been convicted of a felony, Higginbotham will not return to office. The Town Council is expected to meet soon to appoint a mayor.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|