We received this email earlier today concerning a Louisiana Supreme Court Office of Disciplinary Council (ODC) complaint filed a year ago against Sixteenth Judicial (Iberia, St. Mary, St. Martin parishes) District Attorney Phil Haney by then Louisiana State Senator Troy Hebert.
News from Iberia Parish was made this week as it was made public that former State Senator Troy Hebert filed a complaint with the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel against 16th Judicial District Attorney Phil Haney. It’s been a year since the complaint was filed and ODC appears to be dragging its feet on any ruling. Hebert now serves in Governor Jindal’s cabinet as Commissioner of Alcohol and Tobacco. The 16th JDC is made up of Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes.
If disbarred, Haney will become the first district attorney in Louisiana history to receive such a sanction. Of greater significance is how the Louisiana Supreme Court and Office of Disciplinary Counsel deals with the pending charges since the outcome effects how the statewide public deals with lawyers and high ranking elected officials. Whether the Louisiana Supreme Court and ODC are complicit in continued corruption in Louisiana remains to be seen. Many citizens and lawyers have complained about serial selective prosecution that subverts the very system put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices in the legal field often saying “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.”
A story by Holly Leleux-Thubron ran in the May 29, 2011 of edition of The Daily Iberian detailing the complaint filed by Hebert, Haney’s response and Hebert’s reply. Allegations made against Haney include conflicts of interest with regards to cases his office is handling, perjury and other illegal or improper acts. That these charges were raised by a sitting senator and now the head of a state agency elevate them above the rantings by some average citizen. A copy of the article and all documents filed with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel are included for your review. (If you read no other document attached to this email, it is suggested that you read the Hebert ODC reply of August 30, 2010 because it simply rebuts Haney’s explanations with documentary proof).
In addition to every Louisiana Press Association newspaper, major market television station, local radio stations and political bloggers, this email has been carbon copied to the Louisiana Supreme Court and ODC as well as many lawyer board members of ODC. Perhaps they can clarify what steps have been taken against Haney in light of Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XIX, Sect. 16(A)(4) which says that the proceedings are no longer confidential once the allegations become generally known to the public. Also included in this email are law professors from LSU, Tulane, Loyola and Southern who teach legal ethics. Their insight would be welcomed too. Who knows, maybe next semester they’ll present a case study of “The Phil Haney Defense: How to break the Rules of Professional Conduct and get away with it.”
For your convenience contact information for Haney, the Louisiana Supreme Court and ODC and its board members contact information is included.
Holly Leleux-Thubron: (337) 321-3196 (cell); (337) 321-6730 (work); [email protected]
Phil Haney: (337) 519-1577 (cell); (337) 369-4420 (work); [email protected]
Louisiana Supreme Court: (504) 310-2488
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
Chief Counsel Charles Plattsmier: (225) 293-3900
ODC Board Chair, William Aaron: (504) 569-1807
ODC Board Vice-Chair Dow Edwards: (504) 310-2205; [email protected]
ODC Board Member Carl Butler: (504) 828-1010; [email protected]
ODC Board Member Stephen Chiccarelli: (225) 381-7044; [email protected]
ODC Board Member John Cox: (318) 221-6858
ODC Board Member Jamie Fontenot: (225) 749-3242; [email protected]
ODC Board Member Lila Hogan: (985) 542-7730; [email protected]
ODC Board Member Edwin Pries: (337) 237-6062
ODC Board Member Lewis Smith (public member): (318) 861-7600
ODC Board Member Robert Tew: (318) 387-8339
See here the 5/29/11 news article from the Daily Iberian.