Court date reset for former Jennings police chief

By By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — A former Jennings police chief accused of taking items from the department’s evidence room while serving as evidence

custodian had his court date delayed this week.

Johnny Lassiter, 52, was to appear Monday in 31st Judicial Court, but the trial was reset for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 14. Lassiter

remains in an out-of-parish rehab facility undergoing treatment, District Attorney Michael Cassidy said.

He was arrested in January on theft and malfeasance charges after an audit of the department’s evidence room found that several

items, including drugs, were missing.

Lassiter pleaded guilty to theft over $1,500, malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice charges in March. A charge

of injuring public records has been dismissed.

He resigned as a police officer on Jan. 8, just three days before his arrest.

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 received the department’s Medal of Honor and Purple Heart after being injured in a 2000 shooting that claimed the lives

of Patrolman Burt LeBlanc and former police Capt. Kenny Guidry and his wife, Christine. Two other officers were injured in

the shooting.