BATON ROUGE- A 19th Judicial District Court Judge in Baton Rouge held a Livingston Parish Sheriff's Deputy in contempt of court after the deputy missed three court hearings that he received subpoenas for.
Deputy Nick Locicero skipped out on a trial and two contempt hearings to determine why he missed the trial. Locicero was ordered to pay a fine and perform 50 community service hours. However, some in the legal community believe Locicero should have been arrested. They say common folks who miss court don't get the same luxury if they ignore court orders.
"It certainly is a bold act for a law enforcement officer to refuse to show up three times," Attorney and Southern University Law Professor Shenequa Gray said.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit obtained the subpoenas tied to the case where Deputy Locicero was supposed to show up for court. The documents show Locicero was personally served on October 20, 2016 for a trial in November. He received another subpoena on January 26th for a contempt hearing for not showing up at the trial. He received a third subpoena at his house in February for not showing up at the contempt hearing. After missing the third hearing, sources say the judge's office called him. That's when Locicero was fined a $100 each for the three missed court appearances. He was also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.
"It does pose a significant inconvenience to the court to have to deal with trying to get someone in," Gray said. "It's not something that would be commonly expected of a law enforcement officer. He knows the process and the penalties he could face for not being there."
Law enforcement watchdogs say this case is very unusual. They also say for a law enforcement officer to ignore three subpoenas, it's not only unacceptable, it's disrespectful to the court and a violation of the oath that officer took.
The subpoenas indicate that not only did Deputy Locicero receive them, they were stamped as received by the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.
"They've done it the right way, and he still didn't appear," Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission said. "That might be an indication of the deputy not only ignoring a court order, but a failure of the sheriff's office to properly supervise their deputies who are supposed to appear in court."
Goyeneche and Gray believe Locicero should face serious reprimands for not following the law.
"Normally there is some type of discipline," Goyeneche said. "A step process. You miss one event you may get a warning. You miss a second, you may get a letter of reprimand...third time you may be looking at a brief suspension."
Despite what law enforcement watchdogs and law professors say should happen to Locicero, as our sources expected, nothing will happen to Deputy Locicero internally. Sources say Locicero has close ties to Sheriff Ard.
Sheriff Jason Ard released the following statement:
"My deputies are expected to be in court when summoned. I have personally addressed this issue internally & have spoken directly with this deputy. There will be no disciplinary action outside the court's ruling."