For the past five weeks Schuyler Marvin and the DA’s office have been getting a lot of attention from the Inquisitor.
It started when Danny Lawler, the publisher, realized that the DA’s office was storing seized vehicles on property owned by DA Investigator Buddy Mondello and then selling them at a private dealer’s auction, rather than at public auction. When Lawler spoke to Schuyler Marvin about it, he was told that the reason he was ‘upset’ was because the vehicles weren’t going through an auction that Lawler operates.
Not so, says Lawler. His commissions for the last eight years from the Bossier DA amount to $9,300 – about $1,162 per year. In addition, some of the cars have been resold at Lawler’s auction by the dealers, so any supposed financial loss is minimal.
After that, Lawler began to get tips about Mondello and his background, including an arrest and conviction in Caddo Parish, and his friendship with convicted robber Larry Thompson.
Other issues were checked out and reported, including a couple of DWI’s that were pled down to lesser charges, one by Mondello’s daughter and another by someone who at least purported to be an employee of the DA.
You can read that story in this week’s Inquisitor, and see the actual police recording of the stop in 2008 on The Inquisitor’s You Tube channel.
Anytime the Inquisitor is involved in a story, the first mode of defense is always to attack the messenger, and Lawler has a pretty thick skin, because he has been attacked on plenty of occasions.
I have, however, never known him to print anything that was untrue.
And I have known, personally, of cases where some of his most ardent attackers also attempt to plant stories in his paper (unsucessfully, in the case I am referring to).
I don’t know how much more will come out, but I do know that the investigation by Lawler is continuing.
The strange twist that I see to the story (and I may be the only one), has to do with the race for District Judge coming up in October.
This is the way I see it. The people are in a very anti-incumbent and very anti-system mood at the present time. Witness the fact of the School Board propositions. Two of them were turned down, and one barely squeaked through. This is not the norm for Bossier Parish. Schools have always received what they asked for.
Also witness the election for State Senator last year, where Jane Smith carried only 52% of the Bossier vote, giving Barrow Peacock a solid win with his strong majority in the Caddo Parish part of the district.
The closest thing to an incumbent in this race is ADA Michael Nerren, who is receiving strong support from the District Attorney and from a number of Bossier City Officials.
If the anti-incumbent mood prevails, the unwitting receipients of any blowback from the Inquisitor articles will be John Slattery and Whit Graves.
In a hotly contested judge’s race in 2008, Mike Craig, with the help of Marvin and some of the same people who support Nerren, beat incumbent Dewey Burchett, who suffered from being the incumbent in that race.
This year presents a totally different scenario, in that the candidate being supported by Marvin is the ‘insider’ in the race. It will be interesting to watch the race develop, and to see if the establishment’s embrace of Nerren is quite as powerful as it once was.