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More Troubles for Elloie
Last week, Criminal Court Judge Charles Elloie heard calls for his resignation after an accused murderer he released on a reduced bond was one of three men arrested last week as a suspect in the slaying of an 18-year-old woman. This week, Elloie will get some more bad news -- this time from the Louisiana Board of Ethics.

After assessing $600 in late fees against the judge for failing to timely file a campaign finance disclosure report in connection with his re-election in 2002, the ethics panel reviewed its figures and determined Elloie actually owes the state treasury $1,000, says ethics board staff attorney Kathleen Allen says.

The Baton Rouge-based ethics board early last month was scheduled to hold a public hearing to address charges Elloie failed to file mandated campaign finance reports on his Oct. 5, 2002, election. Elloie filed the tardy report before the hearing started and the board fined him for late fees.

In an affidavit filed with the board early last month, Elloie argued that prior to Sept. 5, 2002, he informed the board he was unopposed for re-election and was told that it was not necessary to file a report. "Further, there were no expenditures in excess of $5,000," Elloie wrote. But campaign finance laws sent to all candidates state that even those who run unopposed, "must file at least one report." Allen says the judge may appeal his $1,000 late fee.

The fine could compound Elloie's problems with the state Judiciary Commission. Raphael Goyeneche, president of the private Metropolitan Crime Commission, said late last week that he plans to file a complaint against the judge in connection with his bond-setting practices.

Elloie could not be reached for comment. In an interview with WDSU reporter Scott Simmons last week, he said he did nothing wrong by reducing the bond of Elwood Pleasant, who was freed in January after spending a month in jail for a 2002 murder arrest. But Elloie added that if Pleasant is found to be responsible for the slaying of Gladys Dyson, he would "certainly be regretful" for reducing the bond.



Old Is New in Jefferson
The calendar for the hot Jefferson Parish Council races looks like this: federal court in July, qualifying for office in August and primary election day, Oct. 4. And the old parish system of government is suddenly new again, at least until a federal judge says otherwise.

It's a tangled tale that began last year, when Jefferson Parish voters elected to change the makeup of the council from six district council members and one at-large chair (6-1) to five district council members and two at-large council members (5-2). A group of black voters opposed to the 5-2 plan sued the parish for failing to get the proposal pre-cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice before putting the measure on the ballot. With qualifying only three months away, politicos are now running as if the districts drawn under the old 6-1 council scheme of government will remain in effect through the fall elections, observers say. The suit goes on trial next month in the court Federal Judge Carl Barbier.

Who's Paying for This Lunch?

New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass was spotted at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse recently having lunch with former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy and political consultant Ron Nabonne.

Compass, who was appointed chief last year by Mayor Ray Nagin, headed Barthelemy's team of NOPD bodyguards during the former mayor's administrations (1987-1994). Compass has been battling a rising homicide rate, just as Barthelemy struggled with crack-fueled crime wave during the late-1980s and early 1990s. But Nabonne, a longtime friend and ally of both men, says the luncheon was to celebrate Compass' year as chief. "Nothing heavy was discussed," Nabonne says. "Both Sidney and I are really proud of 'Comp' for all of his hard work and what he accomplished."

Who picked up the tab? "Sidney picked up the tab," Nabonne says, adding that the former mayor declined Nabonne's offer to treat them.

 

Brothels and Boats
Canal Street brothel madam Jeanette Maier has begun serving her six-month halfway house sentence on federal charges that shut down her illegal operation. Ever the entrepreneur, Maier is now marketing a T-shirt that will be sold by a friend while she serves her sentence, according to her defense attorney Provino "Vinny" Mosca. On the front of the $25 shirt is a picture of Maier; the back lists three possible statements that the wearer can check off: "I was not on the list," " I was on the list," and "I wish I were on the list."

Meanwhile, the boat Crime Scene V, which played a minor, seafaring role in the brothel drama, is now for sale on eBay. The high bid posted at press time for the "Canal Street Brothel Boat" -- billed as "the only one in the entire universe" -- was $171,600.

On Wednesday, June 4, CBS' 48 Hours will devote an hour to the saga of the brothel. 48 Hours airs locally at 9 p.m. on WWL-TV Channel 4.

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