Bogalusa man convicted of elections violation

Published 8:06 am Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Bogalusa man well known for his work as president of the Community Action Organization was convicted this week on charges stemming from an investigation led by Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s Elections Compliance Unit, according to a release issued by Schedler.

Joel Miller Sr. was found guilty of injuring public records, giving false statement of fact and giving a false name in qualifying.

According to the release, Schedler’s office received notification from Assistant District Attorney LeAnn Wall of the 22nd Judicial District Court on Wednesday that Miller had pled guilty to injuring public records and giving false statement of fact. The judge gave Miller three years probation and ordered him to pay the entire amount owed to the Board of Ethics as restitution.

Acting on a complaint from the Board of Ethics, the ECU initiated an investigation of Miller, who filed a notice of candidacy affidavit to run for a seat on the Bogalusa city council, and learned that he was the subject of an ethics investigation and a judgment in the amount of $12,000, according to the release.

“Miller has tried in the past on more than one occasion to run for elective office in Washington Parish without paying off the judgment, but has been prevented from doing such by challenges filed to his candidacy by the Ethics administration,” according to the release. “In this case, Miller used an alias name and subterfuge to file a notice of candidacy and remained unnoticed until recently. He not only used an alias name on his notice of candidacy form, but signed an affidavit indicating that he did not have any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. This was an obvious false statement that investigators allege Miller knew to be false.”

Miller could not be reached for comment.

The ECU consists of law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction to investigate all election complaints, such as voter fraud, vote buying and voter intimidation.

Schedler played an active role in revamping election fraud laws, which were passed by the legislature and became effective in January of 2011. The new laws increase penalties and fines in all election offenses and strengthen the ability of law enforcement to charge and prosecute election violations.

Complaints that may involve election violations can be reported to the ECU by calling 800-722-5305. For more information, contact the Elections Division at 225-922-0900 or visit www.