Newest member of St. John School Board to consolidate positions

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE- Ali Burl, III took office at the beginning of January as the newest member of the St. John the Baptist School Board, but with an agreement drafted by Judge Madeline Jasmine, he will be able to retain one of his two other public jobs, if put under a different department.

Burl was working both as a drug court officer and as a district constable for St. John the Baptist Parish.

Burl confirmed that the agreement will allow him to continue to serve as coordinator of a diversion program in the parish drug court, which is headed by Judge Jasmine, but he has been removed from the Sheriff Office’s payroll and has become an employee of the court. His job functions will not change.

&#8220Burl will continue to be responsible for monitoring first time drug offenders and bringing them to drug court. It is not uncommon for different entities to form an agreement with the Sheriff’s Office. Sometimes programs need help from our office,” said Sheriff Jones.

&#8220As long as I am Sheriff we will continue to help with the drug court program. Both Judge Jasmine and I are pleased with the work he has been doing there, so it was in our interest to keep him on,” he said.

The drug court diversion program coordinator was previously under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Wayne Jones, who hired Burl in 2005. The Sheriff’s office will continue to provide operating funds and a police unit and a radio to the program as part of the agreement.

An opinion from the state attorney general said that Burl could not hold a job with both the Sheriff’s Office and the School Board because it violates the state of Louisiana’s dual-office holding law. The law specifically prohibits an individual from holding a School Board office if the individual also works for a sheriff, assessor, or clerk of court.

Burl has resigned completely from his position as constable of St. John Parish, however. His term as constable was expected to end in December, 2008.

A new constable was appointed at a special meeting of the parish council where they voted 8-0, with Council Member Jaclyn Hotard absent, to appoint Mr. Barry Ellis to the District 2 Garyville/Mt. Airy constable seat.

Ellis was appointed to the term until the next available election. A special election will be held on October, 20, 2007 to fill the seat followed by a Nov. 7 general election if needed. Qualifying for the said election will be Sept 4, 2007 through Sept 6, 2007