Former State Senator Wesley Bishop pleads guilty to federal charge, resigns from SUNO

Bishop also submitted his resignation to Southern University at New Orleans, effective March 21

Former State Senator Wesley Bishop pleads guilty to federal charge, resigns from SUNO
State Sen. Wesley Bishop appears to be double-dipping between his job at school and time at the legislature. (Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Former State Senator Wesley Bishop pleaded guilty Tuesday (Jan. 21) to a felony of making false statements to a federal agency.

Bishop was in Federal Court in New Orleans where a change of plea hearing was held.

Bishop, a now-former state senator and associate vice chancellor at Southern University at New Orleans, made a false statement to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Prosecutors allege Bishop claimed certain people were tenants at his rental property in New Orleans, when in fact they were not living at the property.

In December, Bishop pleaded not guilty. Sentencing is set for April 21.

Southern University confirmed Bishop submitted his resignation on January 20 as vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. The university said his resignation is effective March 21, 2020. He has been on paid administrative leave since the charge was announced.

In his letter of resignation to SUNO’s Chancellor, he said it was a pleasure working for the university, but did not mention the pending legal case against him.

Bishop had also been the focus of several FOX 8 Investigations by Lee Zurik that found Bishop took sick leave from SUNO while getting paid to work at the state legislature.

Our investigation found Bishop used 122 sick days at SUNO, while he worked in Baton Rouge, adding to nearly $40,000 of money he may have improperly received. Following the FOX 8 Investigation, Bishop cut taxpayers a $20,000 check to SUNO.

Bishop was first elected to the Louisiana State Senate in October 2015 and was elected in the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2011. He announced in 2019 he will not seek re-election to his seat in the Louisiana State Senate.

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