Jonesboro mayor faces malfeasance charges in court - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Jonesboro mayor faces malfeasance charges in court

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JONESBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Mayor Leslie Thompson pleaded not guilty to the three malfeasance charges in March. Monday marked the first day of what could be a weeks long trial.

Thompson is no stranger to Judge Jimmy Teat's courtroom in Jackson Parish.

"When we go into court, and we know we are absolutely right, and to have a judge, every single time, rule against that," says Thompson, "Day one, we have a problem with the equality of justice, we don't think we are getting justice in his courtroom."

Mayor Thompson faces three counts of malfeasance, stemming from the town's most recent audit, one of five consecutive incomplete audits. Thompson and his group of supporters disagree with the charges.

"That even if they can find some type of mistake having been made, they can't take that from there to show that there was some kind of criminal intent," says Thompson.

In court, the Assistant D.A. questioned the timeliness of motions filed by Thompson's attorneys the morning of the trial. Also discussed was the possible conflict of interest of calling the town's attorney to the stand, because he also serves as an Assistant District Attorney. Judge Teat made no rulings on any of these matters.

One decision he did make, banned T-shirts in support of the mayor in the courtroom, as they could influence the jury -- a jury that still hasn't been selected. Witnesses were asked to return to court Thursday, proving this will most likely be a lengthy trial. When court ended Monday evening, the defense says it's a long way from picking a jury, and that jury selection will continue Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.

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