West Bank state representative resigns amid federal charges - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

West Bank state representative resigns amid federal charges

A photo of Girod Jackson from his web site A photo of Girod Jackson from his web site
New Orleans, La. -

A state representative from the West Bank of Jefferson Parish has resigned from office amid a federal investigation..

A communication sent out to members of the Legislative Black Caucus Wednesday night says Representative Girod Jackson (D-Harvey) would plead guilty to federal charges.

In addition to the email sent out Wednesday night, House Speaker Chuck Kleckley confirmed Thursday afternoon that he had received Jackson's notice of voluntary resignation. Kleckley says he is working with the Secretary of State's office to determine a date for an election to fill the District 87 seat.

Jackson, who was elected in 2007, represents parts of the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. His website lists his occupation as a general contractor.

Wednesday night, the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus sent an email to caucus members saying, "Our black caucus member Representative Jackson will plead guilty to federal charges regarding some business taxes from years prior to his being elected."

Jackson, 41, was charged Thursday in a three count Bill of Information for violating provisions of the United States Tax Code. Specifically, Jackson was charged with one count of Making a Fraudulent Statement on a Tax Return, a felony, and two counts of Willful Failure to File Tax Returns, misdemeanors.

According to court documents, Jackson who represents District 87, misrepresented on his federal tax return for 2006 the total income received by his company, Diversified Ventures, LLC.

In 2007 and 2008, despite having earned sufficient income from Diversified Ventures and other sources and having filed requests for extensions of time to file his tax returns. He failed to file any returns at all. Jackson was elected to office in 2007 and served his first full year as State Representative for District 87 in 2008.

If convicted, Jackson faces the possibility of up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine for Count 1 and up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for Counts 2 and 3.

FOX 8 received the following statement attributed to Jackson from a media relations firm Thursday:

"For the last five and a half years, I have proudly represented the people of the 87th District of the Louisiana House of Representatives. During my time in office, I have worked to be a symbol of honor and pride for myself and the constituents of the 87th District. And while I aim to live my life with dignity and respect, I am not without fault. Several years ago, there were filing errors on my business tax returns and delayed initial filings arising from accounting errors and oversight. Today, I have accepted the consequences of those mistakes.

"As a part of accepting these consequences, regretfully, I have submitted my letter of resignation to the Secretary of State and The Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives. It was a hard decision to make, but I am fully focused on moving forward and doing what is right for my family and the people of District 87. I hope in time, I will not be defined solely by my personal mistakes.

"Today, I acknowledge and accept my errors. My hope is to come out of this ordeal a stronger and wiser man. I humbly apologize to my family, my colleagues, my former constituents and the general public. I know that I have disappointed many people and I will spend the rest of my life working to regain your trust."

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