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Councilman guilty of trying to steal electricity from trailer

For many residents of Louisiana, being charged with a crime is potentially at least as embarrassing than being convicted of one -- depending on the charge, of course. When the person charged is a public official, this is especially true.

Recently, a councilman from Gonzales was convicted of a misdemeanor offense for attempting to steal electricity from a vacant trailer at a trailer park. The man faces a fine of $100, plus court costs; if he fails to pay the fine in the next two months, he could face 30 days in jail.

The councilman said that he asked the trailer park manager's son if he could plug an extension cord into a vacant trailer in order to get power to some workers at his home. The man's home had been damaged in a fire and he had people working on his roof. Ultimately, they didn't use the power, but the owner of the vacant trailer pressed charges anyway.

The man's attorneys said that the incident was all a misunderstanding -- and was a waste of the state's money to try the case. Ultimately, though, the conviction was secured based on the councilman's intent to steal the electricity, even if it didn't come to that.

It remains to be seen how the conviction will affect the councilman's public reputation or his re-election chances. In any case, the publicity generated by the case seems unlikely to be positive for the elected official, no matter how minor the misdemeanor conviction or charge was.

Source: The Advocate, "Gonzales city councilman found guilty of misdemeanor," Ellyn Couvillion, Dec. 19, 2013

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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