The Janice Clark-LSU Fight Descends Into Comedy

Try not to be shocked by this, but the sheriff’s deputies Judge Janice Clark commissioned to rummage through the files of the LSU Board of Supervisors in search of the resumes of candidates for the job of LSU president she has ordered the board to produce…

…didn’t find anything.

The Baton Rouge Business Report covered the swing-and-miss

Two East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputies escorted by LSU police served the LSU Board of Supervisors office this afternoon with a subpoena demanding that it turn over all records related to its presidential search. The deputies arrived on campus around 2:45 p.m., but left empty handed. “We had nothing to give them,” says Robert Rasmussen, assistant vice president for system relations. “As far as we know, they [the documents] are in the possession of Bill Funk, the search consultant in Dallas.” 19th Judicial District Court Judge Janice Clark issued the subpoena earlier today. It calls for the board to turn over all resumes of applicants considered by the board during its presidential search. As of publication time, the deputies were headed back to Clark’s courtroom, where they were to report that the documents were not available locally. It is not clear what steps Clark will take next. On Monday, Clark ruled that the LSU Board of Supervisors can either turn over records regarding its presidential search or face additional punishment beyond the $500 a day fine the judge has already levied on the board. The board is appealing her April ruling against it, and has thus far said it would not comply with her order until the appeal is heard in court. LSU had no comment on the matter as of this afternoon.

It now appears Clark will be reduced to trying to arrest members of the Board in pursuit of her exercise of judicial authority. Chances are the sheriff’s deputies won’t find them at the Board’s office, either.

As we said before, we’re not weighing in on the merits of the case – LSU might well lose its appeal. But Clark is denying LSU a final ruling on the case and thus impeding LSU’s right to file an appeal. LSU has sought an interlocutory appeal in the case and lost, but that’s not the same as a final appeal – which they can’t move forward with because Clark won’t finalize her ruling unless LSU turns over its records.

Judges are not supposed to enter into stalemates with parties in cases they hear. Clark did.

She looks like a fool today. LSU doesn’t look a lot better.

And the rest of us?

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