Prosecutors want judge to recuse herself amid scandal over relationship with deputy
NAPOLEONVILLE - A judge accused of having a lengthy affair with an Assumption Parish sheriff's deputy is being pressured to recuse herself from her cases in Assumption Parish.
District Attorney Ricky Babin's office filed a joint motion with the public defender Wednesday asking that Judge Jessie Leblanc either voluntarily recuse herself from all pending cases in Assumption Parish or be recused by the court.
The motion filed uses extraordinary language to describe the judge's alleged behavior.
"Judge Leblanc's words and actions are inconsistent with conduct of an 'independent and honorable' judiciary, and Leblanc falls woefully short of maintaining 'high standards of conduct.'"
Hundreds of Leblanc's cases are currently being reviewed after Assumption Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean admitted he had longtime affair with the judge. At least 600 of them are under review since the judge was sworn in dating back to 2012.
Prejean was demoted after the revelation.
"As a result of internal findings relative to the aforementioned issue, on January 17, 2020, Bruce Prejean's rank was reduced to captain over the Uniformed Patrol Division and his compensation was reduced by $500 monthly," Sheriff Leland Falcon said last week.
The conflict first came to light in December, when Leblanc refused to sign a warrant. At the time, Sheriff Falcon said she told him that she had a personal relationship with Prejean. That prompted Falcon to alert the district attorney for Assumption Parish, who notified about 20 defendants about the possible conflict.