Tough on crime? Sure. Unless you’re in the state legislature.
State Senator Troy Brown has pleaded no contest to a domestic abuse charge.
Brown was sentenced to 30 days, but Judge Frank Foil suspended the sentence. Instead he will spend 38-hours in jail. After, he will be placed on three months probation with 64 hours of community service.
Brown will not be allowed to be in possession of firearms while on probation and must undergo a court-monitored domestic abuse program.
Judge Foil was brought in from Baton Rouge to handle the case after Ascension Parish Judge Marilyn Lambert recused herself.
In this case, Brown was accused of biting his wife’s arm during an argument at their home in Geismar. The incident happened in July 2016. Brown originally pleaded not guilty.
Brown was also arrested on November 28, 2015 in the Hyatt Regency hotel on Loyola Avenue in New Orleans. He also pleaded no contest to that domestic abuse charge.
At minimum, you would think this episode would lead to Brown’s resignation from the state Senate, but there doesn’t appear to be much of a push on that score after a little bit of buzz surrounding it a few months ago. After all, the governor called for him to shove off, and a day later a pair of legislators from New Orleans – J.P. Morrell and Helena Moreno – did the same, but that had no effect on Brown.
Brown probably ought to be recalled, but he won’t be. He’s been stripped of his committee assignments, and it’s possible he’d be removed by the legislature when it’s next in session, but there is no particular reason to believe that’ll happen.
How that sentence was suspended is a mystery. His resignation from the Senate should have been at least a tacit part of any plea bargain for leniency. We can’t pretend this ongoing debacle says anything good about Louisiana’s politics or culture.