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This Hour: Latest Louisiana news, sports, business and entertainment

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Jindal supports reversal of Edmonson pension boost

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal believes the last-minute passage of a pension hike for his state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, was improperly handled, according to the governor's office.

Jindal spokesman Mike Reed said Tuesday the governor will support efforts to reverse the law change in the next legislative session. Reed says while Jindal knew the change helped Edmonson, he didn't realize the legislation only affected two people when he signed it into law.

The change, which carries a $300,000 price tag over five years, has drawn significant criticism as a backroom deal for a political insider.

Edmonson has said he won't take the increase.

The state police retirement system board is holding a Sept. 4 meeting to review recommendations from its attorneys, who say the retirement boost wasn't properly passed.


Age limit on Louisiana officials on hold for now

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana court officials facing new age restrictions that could oust them from office will instead be allowed to sign up for re-election bids next week.

A Baton Rouge judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a law that prohibits anyone age 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.

District Judge Tim Kelley granted the request from the Louisiana Justice of the Peace and Constables Association, which has filed a lawsuit claiming the restriction is unconstitutional.

A law that sets the mandatory retirement age of 70 for the court officials has been on the books since 2006, but it excluded anyone elected before then. Sen. Elbert Guillory's bill removed that exemption.

Kelley's order allows anyone exempted before Guillory's bill to sign up for re-election.


Attorney general sues State Farm over auto repairs

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has filed a lawsuit against State Farm, alleging the insurer is illegally diverting customers who have been involved in an accident to repair sites that use junkyard and substandard parts.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Baton Rouge, accusing the insurance company of violating Louisiana's unfair trade practices act.

Caldwell says State Farm steers people who have been in a car crash to repair providers that have agreements to get the car fixed as cheaply as possible. The attorney general's office says that jeopardizes safety.

State Farm insurers 33 percent of drivers in Louisiana. Company spokesman Phil Supple said State Farm still is reviewing the lawsuit, but he says the claims are out of line with the company's mission and its history of vehicle safety advancements.


St. Tammany DA's brother arrested

COVINGTON, La. (AP) - Richard Reed, the brother of St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed, has been arrested and booked with sexual battery.

Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz says Richard Reed was arrested Monday after police watched video footage showing he allegedly groped an intoxicated woman more than once.

Lentz called Richard Reed's actions "disturbing," especially in light of the woman's condition.

Lentz says the 65-year-old Reed surrendered without incident Monday night.

The Advocate reports he was released from the St. Tammany Parish Jail on a $25,000 bond.

It was unclear whether Reed has an attorney.


Lafayette board meeting on Cooper probe delayed

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Officials say a special Lafayette Parish School Board meeting that had been set for Tuesday to receive an attorney's report on his investigation of Superintendent Pat Cooper has been canceled and likely will be rescheduled for Wednesday.

The Advocate reports Cooper told the board Monday he would not be able to attend the meeting. However, board president Hunter Beasley said Monday that he decided to push forward with the meeting notice pending guidance from the board's attorney.

Beasley has said the special meeting may be scheduled for early Wednesday, prior to the board's regularly scheduled 5:30 p.m. meeting.

The investigation, conducted by attorney Dennis Blunt, began in May at the request of a majority of board members.


Mulford pleads not guilty to malfeasance in office

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Shreveport Fire Chief Ron Mulford has pleaded not guilty to five counts of malfeasance.

He was arraigned Tuesday in front of District Court Judge John Mosely Jr.

The Times reports Assistant Fire Chief James Thomas Carpenter also pleaded not guilty to his charge of lying to a grand jury.

The charges stem from a Shreveport Fire Department scandal in which four firefighters allegedly abused an intellectually disabled man. Mulford stands accused of failing to report the abuse and trying to conceal information about the situation to investigators. He was indicted in June.

The next court date for arguments and hearing has been set for Sept. 25.

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