Tasha Clark Amar wants new judge appointed to lawsuit against dead woman's family
BATON ROUGE- In court filings, Monday morning, the Executive Director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging's says she feels bullied and defamed over news reports highlighting what she did involving a questionable will.
In an unusual and late move, Tasha Clark Amar's attorney filed a motion to have an Ad Hoc judge hear the defamation case she filed against the family of Helen Plummer. Last year, every single judge in the 19th Judicial District Courthouse recused themselves from hearing Clark Amar's case except for Judge Don Johnson. Clark Amar is the daughter of District Court Judge Janice Clark.
Clark Amar now wants an Ad Hoc to hear it instead of Johnson.
Clark Amar filed a lawsuit against the Plummer family following a series of stories by the WBRZ Investigative Unit which started in March of 2017. Those stories led to Clark Amar stepping back as the overseer of Plummer's estate. Most recently, an independent panel looking at what happened when the will was drafted found problems. The will was drafted at Southern's Elder Law Clinic by Southern employee and Council on Aging board member Dorothy Jackson. An independent investigation by a panel picked by the University found Jackson's conduct to be a problem. It recommended a year-long suspension. But, the school terminated her instead. She is now appealing that decision.
The motion filed this morning in court states, WBRZ's Investigative Reporter Chris Nakamoto and The Advocate's Andrea Gallo have continued to file reports about the Plummer estate. The court documents state Clark Amar feels like she has been bullied by the Plummer family through defaming in continuing news media reports.
Helen Plummer's will WBRZ first brought to light would have benefited Tasha Clark Amar to the tune of $120,000. However, Clark Amar did not collect a dime after the Investigative Unit reported on the case.
Clark Amar cites a case State v. William Bates Colvin as the reason why the Judges in the 19th JDC need to be recused. The court paperwork says, "the Louisiana Supreme Court acting pursuant to plenary authority....asserted that all of the judges of the Nineteenth Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge were recused in the matter of Mr. Colvin, the child of then sitting District Court Judge Bates. Colvin who was an EBR Clerk of Court employee got caught taking kilos of cocaine from the evidence vault.
The court documents show, Clark Amar prays that the Honorable Court set the Motion to have an Ad Hoc appointed in Johnson's place.
We questioned Clark Amar's attorney, Charlotte McGehee about why she waited until now to file it. We didn't get a straight answer. When asked if her client would step down from the Council on Aging, McGeehee said her client was doing a great job.
The Plummer family also questioned the motives as they left court today.
"We feel like this is a stalling tactic," Plummer's grandson, Dan Freeman, said after court. Freeman is not a party in the suit.
Judge Don Johnson said he would take this matter under advisement, and issue a ruling later today or this week.