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Former Jennings Police Chief to be arraigned in March

Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 6:58 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — Arraignment for a former city police chief and police officer accused of taking items from the department’s evidence room is set for March 3.

Johnny Lassiter, 52, will be arraigned in 31st Judicial District Court on charges of theft over $1,500, malfeasance in office, obstruction of justice and injuring public records.

Lassiter was released Wednesday from the Calcasieu Correctional Center to a VA treatment center on the order of Judge Ronald Cox, who was appointed to the case by the Supreme Court after state court Judge Steve Gunnell rescued himself. Cox, a retired judge from Lafayette and former chairman of the state’s Parole Board, serves as an ad hoc judge whenever the Supreme Court appoints him to serve.

Lassiter resigned as a police officer on Jan. 8, just three days before he was arrested by state police after an audit of the Police Department’s evidence room found discrepancies.

District Attorney Michael Cassidy said his office is still awaiting a report from state police on the investigation so that it can determine how to proceed with the case.

Lassiter had served as police chief from 2006 until he resigned in August 2010, citing family obligations. He had worked for the Police Department since 1996 and previously worked for the Lafayette Sheriff’s Office and served in the Louisiana National Guard.

He is being represented by attorney Robert Sheffield Jr. of Lake Charles.

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