Monday, January 25, 2010

Washington Parish reservoir official found guilty in case involving another reservoir

The Daily News
-- Published/Last Modified on Monday, January 25, 2010 8:52 AM CST

MONROE (AP) - Mike Thompson, the former executive director of Poverty Point Reservoir District, has been found guilty of extorting state resources for his personal benefit.

Thompson also serves as a paid consultant to the Washington Parish Reservoir District - formed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2003 to build a reservoir in Washington Parish. The Washington Parish Reservoir Commission voted to maintain its working arrangement with Thompson following his indictments. It’s unclear how Thompson’s conviction will affect his job with the local reservoir project.

A jury deliberated for nearly four hours Wednesday before convicting Thompson on one count of violating the Hobbs Act, a law created to combat racketeering and frequently used in cases involving public corruption.

The act carries a fine, a maximum sentence of 20 years or both.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 24.

Joe Cleveland, a former district handyman, testified that he did work for Thompson that was billed to the state-funded reservoir district.

The alleged work included installing appliances, building sidewalks, sheds and fences.


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