- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Former St. Landry Parish School Board member Quincy Richard Sr. has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for his federal bribery convictions.

U.S. District Judge Richard Haik also ordered the 51-year-old Richard, of Opleousas, Tuesday to pay a $10,000 fine and serve three years of supervised release.

Richard was found guilty of bribery, aiding and abetting bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery Aug. 20 after a jury took 40 minutes to decide he was complicit in the solicitation of a bribe from a superintendent candidate in September 2012.

John Miller, another former board member, and Richard were indicted in an investigation launched after superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere brought the bribery allegations to federal authorities. Cassimere began working with the FBI, and agents videotaped a meeting at an Opelousas restaurant at which Richard and Miller accepted envelopes from Cassimere stuffed with $5,000 each.

Federal prosecutors alleged Miller and Richard, in return for the cash, pledged to vote in support of Cassimere for the job and to lobby other board members to do the same.

Miller, 72, of Opelousas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in a plea deal and agreed to testify against Richard and resign from the school board in exchange for dropping the bribery and aiding and abetting bribery charges.

Miller was sentenced in November to home detention for 10 months and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.

“This closes the door on a very unfortunate chapter for the School Board in Opelousas,” U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said in a statement. “Quincy Richard was thinking only of himself and not about the children, the community and the School Board he was elected to serve. This sentence should send a message that public corruption will not be tolerated. I hope the Opelousas School Board can now move forward to take care of the important work that needs to be addressed for the citizens of Opelousas.”

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