John Miller Pleads Guilty In St. Landry Parish School Board Bribery Case
72-year-old St. Landry Parish School Board member John Miller of Opelousas has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in the case involving him, fellow board member 51-year-old Quincy Richard Sr. of Opelousas and former school board superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere.
Miller, according to evidence presented at the guilty plea and this Court Document Signed By John Miller, admitted to trying to sell his vote to Cassimere. Miller says he and Richard conspired to receive bribe money from Cassimere in return for their support. He says they had a number of private meetings with Cassimere in the three months leading up to Sept. 26, 2012, final vote on who the parish schools superintendant would be. Miller says during these meetings he and Richard negotiated price and payment from Cassimere in exchange for their votes for him.
According to U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley, Miller and Richard met with Cassimere on Sept. 24 at the Quarters Restaurant in Opelousas and received $5,000.00 each in return for their votes. Court documents say they made it clear that Cassimere had also secured their services, efforts, influence and due diligence to secure the votes of other members of the school board for Cassimere's candidacy. Finley says Richard added that Cassimere could also recoup his $10,000 bribe by adding that amount to his salary request. Miller instructed Cassimere on how to make and justify a meritorious salary request above the amount listed for the superintendent's salary as advertised.
But Cassimere, according to the indictment, was working for the FBI. The conversation of Sept. 24 had been under video and audio surveillance and the defendants were confronted by authorities after walking out of the restaurant. The money was then recovered by the authorities.
Miller, who was indicted on October 24, faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine and three years of probation. His sentencing date has not been set yet.
"This is a positive first step for the School Board to move forward so they can take care of the educational work that needs to be addressed for the children and citizens of this community," says Finley.