Bob’s Power Tool

August 26, 2007

Louisiana, what can we say? Certainly we can talk about the fine citizens of this state, or the great food, or a list of other things that makes this state great. Unfortunately it seems, we find ourselves constantly talk about a different Louisiana, corruption and the politicians that embarrasses this state.

We could talk about how state employees can’t violate the law by putting a yard sign for any candidate in their own front yard, yet Bob Odom can require his employees to work on his campaign, or even just to do some yard work around his house. Or we could talk about how Bob Odom tried to keep gas prices higher by setting the limits on how low gas prices can be. Or arresting a 70 year old man for helping his neighbors out by cutting up their pig for them.

Louisiana’s politics are terrible and it’s politicians are even worse. In just about every good category, Louisiana ranks near the bottom of the nation. In fact, when the news came out that Louisiana was ranked 50th in the nation in educaton, I swear, politicians were celebrating that “at least we aren’t the fifty-first ranked state in the nation.” Okay so that quote isn’t true, but instead of looking for solutions to many key issues, we’d rather build sugar mills, lakes, and offer Thyssen Krupp things we just can’t afford. Even after Thyssen Krupp decided not to come to Louisiana, the politicians immediate reaction was to find a new project to spend the money we don’t have on. Politicians in this state proudly hold their index finger up and say, “We’re #1 in corruption and we’re proud of that!”

In fact, our Ag Commissioner likes to build new buildings so much, he’s known as “Bob the builder”, though I’m not quite sure what building buildings has to do with Agriculture. Anyway, all constructors need tools and Ag investigator Scotty Hill is Bob’s Power Tool. When Bob Odom’s #1 investigator, Scotty Hill, falsely arrested a farm girl, it was just another day in Louisiana.

Suzy Powell, then of Sabine Parish, had just recently moved from Tennessee and wasn’t aware of how Louisiana politics worked. So when Katie (name changed) needed some financial help, Ms. Powell bought Katie’s horse for $1,000 and also forgave some debt. At the time, Katie couldn’t afford the care of the horse so this was a reasonable purchase.

But Katie began to have a change of heart, or as the lawsuit filed Shreveport states “concocted a scheme” and claimed that Suzy “leased” the horse. Instead of going to the Sheriff’s office, Katie got in touch with Scotty Hill. Now why Katie got in touch with Scotty Hill, I don’t know. Maybe he owed her some favors, maybe she was doing favors for him, I don’t know, I wasn’t there, we could only speculate. But it seems odd to me that if this was theft, why would Katie would go to Scotty Hill and not to the local authorities? And even if she did, why wouldn’t they arrest her and file charges against her? And how’d it turn from a supposed lease agreement into theft?
When Scotty Hill began to investigate, he did ask the local authorities about the situation and Sheriff Deputy Tommy Sandal informed Hill that he knew the details and that the horse indeed was purchased, not leased. That, however, did not matter to Scotty Hill and his response to Deputy Sandal was “If I can get a judge to sign off on the search warrant, I’m arresting her ass anyway.”

Despite having shown the canceled check proving she paid for the horse and witnesses, Ms. Suzie Powell found herself wearing a pair of handcuffs and charged with horse theft. Where it turned into horse theft, I don’t know, but it seems to me that Scotty had some motives behind this. Perhaps he had something against Ms. Powell, maybe it was an act of revenge against Ms. Powell, though I highly doubt this since she just moved to Louisiana. Ms. Powell has tried to appeal to Ag Commissioner Bob Odom about Hill’s actions, but Bob stood by his man like Tammy Wynette.

This single mother has since filed a suit against Scotty Hill for false arrest. Hill claimed immunity saying he had probable cause and it was reasonable to arrest her. The judge disagreed and the case is still in the hands of the court.

Stories like this are so common in Louisiana that in order for it to qualify as a news story, Katie must be giving Hill some kick backs, or at least on her back. There’s really nothing to make this story stand out in the press, so it remains ignored. But one thing is certain in all this aftermath, whether it’s building buildings and sugar mills, or arresting 70 year old men and single mother farm girls, Bob Odom is clearly the one guy in Louisiana’s politics who absolutely must go. As for Scotty Hill, well, when Bob Odom leaves office, I’m sure Scotty Hill will go with him. Unfortunately for Scotty, he’ll always be a tool, but at least he won’t be Bob’s power tool.


6 comments
TheLawyer
TheLawyer

It is interesting to me that Pastor posted his comments AFTER the jury had already returned its verdict. The jury's verdict came down on the afternoon of April 24, 2008 and Pastor's comments were posted that night. Maybe Pastor didn't know that and the timing of his post is a coincidence. But then again, maybe it was not . . . .

4unionparish
4unionparish

Mr. Benson, Excellent job!! It will, of course, be interesting to see just how honorable a man Mr. Hill really is and whether of not Ms. Powell will receive a single dime of her "justice". It will also be interesting to see if "The Pastor" has ANY Christian values and apologizes for his ASSumptions. Certainly he should be reevaluating his assessment of Mr. Hill, and even more important for his own soul, apologize to Ms. Powell for attempting to raise any question to her moral integrity. Those living is glass houses ........ This "Louisiana Conservative" wishes Ms. Powell the very best of luck in obtaining what is rightfully due to her and I look forward to hearing more of the details to this case. I am especially interested in what were Mr. Hill's motivations and just how involved was "Katie". Maybe we should also be interested in the motivations of the Pastor who was clearly trying to sway opinion at a critical time in this case. Not only is a follow-up to this story needed, this case needs to be reported around the state as a warning to the rest of the "Good Old Boys" that continue to think this state is more their kingdom than the homes of honest residents. Stay strong, Ms. Powell. STEADY ON!!!! Mr. Benson, STEADY ON!!!!

TheLawyer
TheLawyer

Well, Pastor, the facts are in. There was a jury trial in United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on Suzie's claims against Scotty Hill in April of 2008. The jury returned a verdict in Suzie's favor, holding Scotty Hill liable for compensatory damages in the amount of $250,000.00 and punitive damages in the amount of $250,000.00. The jury specifically found that Scotty Hill's arrest of Suzie was in bad faith. The trial judge has denied all of Scotty Hill's post-trial motions to overturn the verdict.

ThePastor
ThePastor

The facts of the case are not all known to you. i think I'd reserve my comments until i knew that I knew all there was to know. Amazing how people can just make a call on something when they don't even know all the facts.

ThePastor
ThePastor

It's amazing that you think that Susie is an angel who got caught up in some confusion. Does she have a history of suing people? What about her history. Officer Scotty Hill has a fine record of serving the public. Do you even know him?

Suzie
Suzie

Thank you for telling my story and allowing the people of Louisiana to be informed of "another" Bob Odom story. It is my hope that we will STAND up for our state and clean this state up... Way back when, there was a boy named David who had a sling shot, a pebble and he took down a giant - WE can do it! This is my home, my son's home and I am willing to do my part to stand up for what is right and fight those that aren't doing their part. WE have given these people tooooo much power and it is up to us to take that power away. What can it hurt? A term -- hell, it definitely can't hurt us anymore than what is being done now and will continue to be done if WE don't stop it and make that CHANGE!!

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