UPDATE: Suspended Mayor Leslie Thompson to Remain in Jail

UPDATE: Suspended Mayor Leslie Thompson to Remain in Jail

After a bond hearing Monday, Judge Jimmy Teat decided Thompson will be held in jail without bond until his sentencing in November.
 (Jackson Parish Correctional Center)
(Jackson Parish Correctional Center)
UPDATE: Jonesboro -- Jonesboro's suspended mayor Leslie Thomspon will stay in jail for at least seven more weeks.
After a bond hearing Monday, Judge Jimmy Teat decided Thompson will be held in jail without bond until his sentencing in November.
Thompson was convicted of malfeasance in office September 13th.

The next week, he attended a Jonesboro Board of Aldermen meeting. At it, Thompson voiced support for his wife being appointed to take over mayoral duties. That prompted the District Attorney's Office to ask for his bond to be revoked.
Thomspon was arrested Friday and will remain in jail until he is formally sentenced November 13th.

UPDATE: JONESBORO -- The suspended Jonesboro mayor is still in jail.

He was arrested Friday after the prosecutor in the case says Thompson tried to get his own wife appointed as interim mayor. Now a judge will decide tomorrow whether Thompson will stay in jail or be released.

Thompson appeared at his hearing in a black and white striped jumpsuit -- he's been behind bars since Friday, after prosecutor Lea Hall filed a petition to have his bond revoked.

Hall is arguing that Thompson should be kept in jail until his sentencing, after Thompson tried last week to get his wife appointed as interim mayor.

This is what Thompson said to KARD/KTVE last week when the council approved it three to one.

"We felt, because of the xperience I have with doing the job of being the mayor, that I would probably the best person - she would be the best person to be considered, whereby she could get the information from me that she needed and pass the information to the administrator."

The interview mayor Thompson had given was played and submitted as evidence during the hearing.

The prosecutor also called up three witnesses: the Jackson Parish clerk of court Anne Walsworth, alderwoman Renee Stringer, and fiscal administrator Ken Folden. All three testified around the appointment of Thompson's wife, Yoshi, as the interim mayor.

Walsworth said she was approached by alderman Devin Flowers to see if she would swear in Mrs. Thompson as interim mayor. She said she told them no because Folden rejected the appointment of Mrs. Thompson.

Stringer said she was the only one to vote against the appointment. She and Folden said after public comments had passed, mayor Thompson addressed the council saying, "he was still the mayor and he could still operate within the confines of his present situation."

For the first time, Leslie Thompson took the stand, saying he was never informed on what he could or couldn't do. He said he was allowed to speak at the meeting and didn't think there would be any legal issues to suggest his wife.

But the judge asked the defense, "Who's obligation do you think it was to explain to Thompson what he can and can't do after he's convicted?"

He said to the defense, "It's getting pretty old for you and Thompson to be putting the blame on everyone else for his actions.....It's the lawyer's job to explain the laws and conditions to their client."

The defense says the council has the right to appoint who they choose.

"I think its unfair, and I think its more unfair to the voters than anyone else. It seems that the fiscal administrator has been allowed to overrule the vote of the people."

During the hearing, he told the judge it wasn't uncommon for officials to recommend their wives.

"There are many other instances in Louisiana where the wife of the person who had been removed from office had been allowed to fill the unexpired term," he said.

But at the end of Monday's hearing, Judge Jimmy Teat repeatedly asked the defense why no one else was recommended as interim mayor, among other questions.

The defense said Devin Flowers was recommended before the meeting, but he also recommended Yoshi Thompson.

The judge also asked why, over the years, three council members always voted the same, with Renee as the opposing vote.

Thompson will stay behind bars at the Jackson Parish correctional Center until the judge makes his decision around noon Tuesday. Thompson's sentencing is still scheduled for November.


Original Story: A bond hearing is underway for suspended Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson.

Thompson was arrested on Friday after Jackson Parish Assistant District Attorney Lea Hall filed a petition to have Thompson's bond revoked.

The hearing is being held in the Jackson Parish Correctional Center in front of Judge Jimmy Teat.

Lea Hall is arguing that Thompson should be kept in jail until his sentencing in November for trying to get his wife appointed as interim Mayor. 

This morning Jonesboro Fiscal Administrator Kenneth Folden, Jonesboro Alderwoman Renee Stringer and Jackson Parish Clerk of Court Anne Walsworth were questioned during the hearing. Also questioned was Mayor Leslie Thompson.

Lea Hall also played the story that aired last Monday on KTVE/KARD when the Jonesboro Town Council voted to appoint Thompson's wife Yoshi as interim Mayor and Thompson later explained why he supported that appointment.

Folden rejected the appointment of Yoshi Thompson as interim Mayor.

On Friday, Monroe City Court Judge Tammy Lee swore in Yoshi Thompson as interim mayor. Following that swearing in, Thompson was arrested.

Despite that swearing in, Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Prupera told KTVE/KARD "Folden has the final say in Jonesboro and they can have all the swearing in parties all they want, but that doesn't mean they have a new mayor."

A decision on whether Thompson remains in jail is expected to made by Judge Teat this afternoon.

KTVE 10 News will have an update tonight at 5p and 6p and on www.myarklamiss.com.

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