ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish Police Jury has voted to hire Attorney Jimmy Faircloth to represent them for all matters pertaining to a threat last week from the DA's Office to sue them.
Jurors Ollie Overton and Richard Billings were the only two who voted against it. The vote comes after Hugo Holland, a special prosecutor for the DA's Office, threatened to sue on behalf of the DA if the Police Jury voted to cut their budget by $500,000.
The Police Jury's treasurer claims that the DA's Pretrial Intervention Program has lead to a $400,000 deficit in the general fund because PTI is rerouting money from the criminal court fund directly to their office.
Faircloth said that he would first begin by trying to find out what the scope of the problem is.
It's important to note that Faircloth will only be the attorney for the Police Jury until these matters are resolved - not for the long term.
"I know there's a conflict with the district attorney's office," Faircloth said. "The conflict with the District Attorney's Office creates a real and immediate necessity for you to hire private counsel to get you through that conflict. You clearly can do that. What is the scope of the conflict? I can't quite tell. I know it's budgeting. I know it's the criminal court fund."
Some of the jurors felt that Tom Wells, the assistant district attorney who was supposed to represent them, had a conflict of interest because he never spoke up when Holland made the threat.
Wells spoke up tonight after the vote urging the police jury to get the attorney general's opinion on hiring Faircloth before money exchanges hands.