FIRST IN PRINT: Sen. Rob Marionneaux confirms run for sheriff

Staff reports

State Sen. Rob Marionneaux confirmed Monday he would be a candidate for sheriff in the fall elections.

Marionneaux, term-limited from seeking re-election to the Senate, told the POST/SOUTH he made his decision after Sheriff Brent Allain announced he would not run for re-election a month ago.

Allain named his choice of successor as Capt. Aubrey St. Angelo, whom he promoted to the new position of chief of operations at the Iberville Sheriff's Office. Brett Stassi, office manager and investigator at the District Attorney's Office, and retired Wildlife and Fisheries agent Harry “Glynn” Stassi Sr. quickly joined the race.

Marionneaux, a lawyer who served as a parish reserve officer under the late Sheriff Freddie Pitre, said he was the only one in the field of candidates with the qualifications to manage the Sheriff's Office's $11.6 million budget and oversee the department's 162-man force.

“I'm chairman of the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee, where I gained a lot of my experience in balancing budgets,” the senator said. “It's a lot larger than the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office.”

Rumors to the contrary, Marionneaux said he had not considered running for the office of parish president, and that he had not considered running for a statewide office.

“I have no intention of running for statewide office,” he said. “The only office I'm considering running for is sheriff.”

He said he would make a formal announcement after the special and regular legislative sessions this spring in order to “finish the job” his constituents elected him to do.

Marionneaux indicated he would work to keep Iberville Parish in tact in the 17th Senatorial District, which he represents, during the upcoming special session on reapportionment. A plan proposed by the Family Forum would split the parish up into three senatorial districts, he said.

“Several plans I have seen are just completely objectionable, including the Family Forum plan,” he said.

During the regular session, he said he would handle the state's Capital Outlay Bill in the Senate, along with several funding requests from Iberville Parish.

Marionneaux said he also would file a bill setting a flat three percent tax on oil and gas production, both foreign and domestic. Louisiana landowners are charged a 12.5 percent severance tax on oil and gas produced on their property, while Saudia Arabia and other countries are charged nothing on imports, he said.

“I'm going to file it,” he said. “I don't know what chance it has of passing.”

Meanwhile, Marionneaux is in court fighting a Louisiana Ethics Board demands that he disclose legal fees he was paid in cases involving state agencies. The board alleges Marionneaux violated state ethics law by failing to make the disclosures.

“I'm fighting the board on all fronts,” the senator said. “The Board of Ethics wants information that the Supreme Court forbids.”