Skipper turns himself in to sheriff’s office

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 2, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Ferriday paralegal James Skipper turned himself in at the Concordia Parish Jail Friday afternoon, two days after a warrant was issued for his arrest, charging him with four counts of unlawful practice of law.

Skipper, 35, of 704 Fifth St. in Ferriday, turned himself in just after 1 p.m. and was released less than one hour later on $1,000 bond.

Skipper, who has denied the allegations, could not be reached for comment later Friday afternoon.

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On Aug. 16, state police searched the office of the Ferriday paralegal and seized documents in connection with allegations he had illegally practiced law. A paralegal can perform such tasks as conducting legal research and requesting district attorney’s and attorney general’s opinions but cannot give legal advice or argue cases in court.

Skipper has said that he never practiced law, instead referring clients to an Alexandria attorney for legal advice or representation.

Skipper added that he believes state police were called in as retaliation for him filing a motion earlier this year against Ferriday Councilwoman Dorothy Johnson.

In early July, former Town Council candidate Skipper filed a motion asking Boothe to rule that Johnson cannot serve on the council and work for the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office at the same time.

Johnson, who was reelected in March, was sworn into the District E council post July 1 and also works as a booking classification officer for the sheriff’s office.

A Louisiana attorney general’s opinion has stated that a person cannot hold an elected office and work for a sheriff’s office, clerk of court or tax assessor’s office in the same parish at the same time.

Johnson has refused to comment on Skipper’s allegations.