Former Jennings Police Chief to be arraigned in March

By 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


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