04 April 2006

town talk hypocrisy

heres a nice little article appearing in what cenla blogger lamar white, jr., calls the clown talk that illustrates previous posts of ours exactly see cleco is being shafted. while we give kudos to judge donald johnson and rapides parish assistant district attorney monique metoyer for doing the right thing in coming forward to disclose their previous relationship we have to wonder why the paper is choosing to report this even posting and printing large photos of both johnson and metoyer?

in the cleco and city of alexandria lawsuits the town talk never mentioned in any way whatsoever the previous professional relationship between attorney charlie weems who was representing the city. weems moved the suit from state court to the federal court room of his old law partner judge dee drell. this would seem like a pretty important piece of information to include in their story but from the town talk not a word not one jot or tittle about that. instead they choose to run with this:

Judge's former social tie to prosecutor stirs concern
By Jim Leggett
(318) 487-6346

Ninth Judicial District Judge Donald Johnson dated Assistant District Attorney Monique Metoyer for more than a year about seven years ago. Now, that previous relationship is causing problems since he started handling criminal cases.

Johnson entered an order into the file after recusing himself from the triple first-degree murder case against Arthur Frazier in which Metoyer serves as prosecutor.

State law states there must be a hearing on the recusal. That was done Monday before Harry Randow, Johnson's fellow 9th Judicial District Court judge. Randow said he would issue written reasons for his ruling in "a day or two."
At the brief hearing Monday, Johnson said his motion "most definitely" is precautionary and that his prior relationship with Metoyer would "definitely not" affect his sitting on a case in which Metoyer was a prosecutor. "She is very professional," and "I will be professional," Johnson said.

Metoyer testified that she dated Johnson from "the latter part of December 1997 through 1998." The relationship ended in early 1999, she said.

She also has requested in writing that she not be placed in cases which he oversees.

Metoyer has been an assistant district attorney since Jan. 19, 1992. Johnson, who was an assistant district attorney, was elected judge in October 1992 and was re-elected to full six-year terms in 1996 and 2002.

Frazier is accused of shooting his estranged wife, Paula, and her two children, Jasshawn Williams, 13, and Shelby Williams, 12, at a house at 23rd and Noble streets. Two of Paula Frazier's nieces, 10 and 12, were wounded.

Originally published April 4, 2006

**Updated** 9:59 am cdt thursday 06 april 2006

Randow: Judge can hear case

Ninth Judicial District Judge Harry Randow has ruled that sufficient time has passed since fellow Judge Donald Johnson dated Monique Metoyer, an assistant district attorney, and therefore, he can judge a case in which she is a prosecutor.

Johnson had recused himself, on his own order, from a three-count first-degree murder case against Arthur Frazier. Frazier filed for a hearing on that order.

Randow, after hearing testimony from Johnson and Metoyer, found that the time elapsed since the two dated -- six years by Johnson's count; seven by Metoyer's -- was sufficient and "no grounds exist for the recusal of Judge Johnson."

The case is now returned to Johnson from Judge Tom Yeager to whom the case was assigned.

Originally published April 6, 2006
related posts:
  • judge protects constitutional rights and gets called a dumbass by the rapides parish district attorney

  • will mike small bring down the rapides parish district attorney...