The Rapides parish district attorney is disciplined by the state supreme court.
The state Supreme Court placed Phillip Terrell on probation for five years for allowing a secretary to do legal work and reportedly steal funds that belonged to a client.
Terrell declined to comment — but he issued a brief statement which says his secretary of several years is responsible for the bad acts. Though Terrell acknowledges he failed to monitor the secretary — he says he cooperated with state officials. If Terrell again is charged with a violation — the state Supreme Court could suspend him from practicing law for a year and a day.
His entire statement may be read below:
I have been disciplined by the Louisiana Supreme Court for events that occurred in early 2013.
I failed to monitor all the activities of my secretary who had been with me for several years. As a result, that person improperly accessed my client trust account and spent a small amount of money. Immediately upon learning of this situation, I
personally replaced all funds that belonged to the third parties and fully cooperated with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
I agree with the two dissenting Justices’ opinions that the discipline was harsh. However, I accepted the discipline recommended by the ODC so as not to cause a distraction from what we are attempting to accomplish in the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office.
J. Phillip Terrell
Rapides Parish District Attorney