LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Two top prosecutors from the Calcasieu district attorney's office have resigned--effective June first. But Rick Bryant and Carla Sigler say it's a move to private practice they have been planning for a long time.
The two are disappointed they were not able to finish the capital murder prosecution of Kevin Daigle.
Both are highly respected career prosecutors. Bryant has convicted most of the high profile killers in Calcasieu over 30 years including; and Carla Sigler who handles appeals and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court before she was 40 years old and won. The two are leaving the Calcasieu DA's office and going into private practice together.
Bryant says they postponed their departure, more than a year ago, to handle the prosecution of Kevin Daigle, accused of First Degree Murder of State Trooper Stephen Vincent.
"It's a very distressing time for the family and myself because we have established a tremendous relationship with them and we put together a fantastic case to be prosecuted and now I can't see it to the end," said Bryant.
"We really wanted to wait and finish out this case, and unfortunately, with the fourth continuance of the trial being granted, there was just no way for us to stay any further," she said.
Bryant says they have commitments requiring they move now.
"We purchased a building for one thing, which is fairly costly, plus the fact that we are committed with people from outside the office to do certain things."
Both say their departure reflects no rift or disagreement with DA John DeRosier or his office.
"Money is always an issue, but I've worked for 30 years understanding that prosecutors will never make as much as people make in private practice. I've done it for the love of what I do. But it's become a point of personal matters for me that I need to go in a different direction," said Bryant.
"This was a very difficult process for both of us. For Mr. Bryant, it's been his career for over 30 years, or me it's been 17 years of doing what I've done here to serve the public. We are leaving on good terms," said Sigler.
Bryant, who served three terms as Calcasieu DA and a term as judge says he has no plans to run for office, still.
"Never say never to anything," said DeRosier.
DeRosier says Sigler and Bryant will be missed, but calls them good friends and wishes them the best. DeRosier says he hopes they make a million dollars in private practice. Sigler, who was there when he said it, said if they do, she'll contribute to his campaign.