Letter to the editor: St. James malfeasance case
In the case of Timmy Roussel, DA Ricky Babin has totally abused the power of his office. Mr. Roussel was first charged with Malfeasance in Office in September 2016. This entire case was politically motivated by the outcome of the 2015 St. James Parish President's race when Timmy Roussel was victorious over a very dear friend of Mr. Babin.
Over the past few years throughout the proceedings of this case and that of co-defendant Blaise Gravois, several revelations about Mr. Babin's office came to light. First, it was ruled by one of the judges that one of Mr. Babin's ADAs committed prosecutorial misconduct. This ruling was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a reward, Mr. Babin promoted this ADA. At one point when the Parish Council tried to see if they could put an end to this charade, DA Babin attended the Council meeting and blasted Council members, saying that nobody tells HIM who to prosecute and for what charges.
More recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, after reviewing the transcripts of the Grand Jury Investigation, dismissed all charges in Mr. Roussel's case finding that the DA's office violated the secrecy of the Grand Jury process in 32 instances, many times telling one witness what another witness said. The Appeals Court panel ruled, by a 3-0 vote, that this was done to influence witness testimony. A few weeks ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld this decision by denying the DA's writ to overturn the Appeals Court ruling.
Now, after over three years of court hearings and rulings that finally led to complete dismissal of charges, DA Ricky Babin has decided that he doesn't need the Grand Jury after all. He re-filed these same charges against Timmy Roussel, separate and apart from the Grand Jury investigation. Ricky Babin was elected by the people to seek justice, whether that justice ends in guilt or innocence. I cannot see how DA Babin's obsession with this case serves any justice for the people of St. James Parish. One must question what more does DA Babin want? His man has now been elected to office. Timmy Roussel is out. Ricky Babin now has complete control of and power over St. James Parish. Why can't he just let this case be?
There's a saying that "Power corrupts - Absolute power absolutely corrupts." It appears that Ricky Babin's office has become the poster child of this saying.