More About Calvin Lester

Thanks to Mr. No Saggy Pants, we have the funniest headline of the week in the Times: “Shreveport Council to Public: You can trust us.” Why did they have to hold a press conference to tell us they are not all crooks and/or idiots? Here’s why:

Six of Shreveport’s seven City Council members held a news conference today to address the legal controversy surrounding fellow Councilman Calvin Lester — distancing themselves from Lester and a judgment in a civil suit that found he conspired with another man to damage the property of a rock-crushing operation Lester wanted closed. . . . .

Lester and acquaintance Alphonso Williams, who owns a Shreveport trucking company, have been found responsible by a Caddo District Court judge for dumping 250 truck loads of clay muck on Blount Brothers’ rock crusher site in 2006.

Lester led the charge in the City Council to shut down the North Hearne Avenue site, which was in his district.

The owner of the rock crusher, Blount Brothers, sued over the dumping and won a judgment against Lester and Williams. The two men face an April 21 trial in which a judge will decide if they should be responsible for paying to clean up Blount Brothers’ property.

Got that? Calvin Lester, a city councilman, didn’t like Blount Brothers. So Calvin Lester conspires with a friend to destroy Blount Brothers’ property and business. Remember, though, according to Lester it’s black kids whose pants reveal their underwear who are the real problem.

That Calvin Lester is a crooked moron does not surprise me. What did surprise me was reading this:

Lester’s lawyer told Judge Ramon Lafitte that Lester would claim “qualified immunity” in the damages phase of the trial. That could shield Lester from financial liability because actions as a government official were involved.

You might think that a government official who bullies his constituents and trespasses on their property ought to be held to a HIGHER standard than the average person. Lester is supposed to be a public servant; someone with a duty to help the people in his area. He abused his position. Lester, though, thinks his status as a councilman ought to excuse his reprehensible actions. That is some incredible balls, that is.

I’m pretty sure it’s also stupid. Qualified immunity is normally something that protects government officials then they mistakenly or unintentionally violate the constitution. To start, Lester simply committed a trespass. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the main issue here is constitutional. This is also a very intentional act, one no sane person could have thought was legal. Finally, he might be a government official, but I seriously doubt he was acting as one when he ordered the attack on Blount Brothers. Lester was just being Calvin Lester: a moron, a crooked lawyer, and a serious embarrassment to Shreveport.

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