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Man accused of scamming JP judge candidate

Published: Dec. 10, 2013 at 1:49 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2013 at 1:50 AM CST
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KENNER, La. - A New Orleans man was arrested Friday and booked with theft after police said he scammed a Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court judge candidate out of $5,653.

Joseph West, aka Joseph Berry, 53, of Coliseum Street, was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshal's Gulf Coast Regional Task Force after his attorney failed to surrender him under an Oct. 17 arrest warrant.

Police said West contacted candidate Connie Montgomery soon after she announced she was running for the seat vacated by Judge Nancy Amato Konrad. West told Montgomery that he was a political consultant and offered her his services, which included getting signs, pamphlets and cards to promote Montgomery's campaign.

West obtained $6000 from Montgomery, but she became suspicious after West failed to produce receipts for campaign expenditures and claimed to have spent $9,000 for signs she never received.

Once West did provide receipts, it was learned that he had manipulated company names to prevent Montgomery from contacting them about job orders.

Montgomery filed a police report with the Kenner Police Department on Oct 6, and an investigation revealed that she had been scammed out of $5,653.00.

After his arrest, West was booked into Orleans Parish Prison as a fugitive and later transferred to the Kenner Police Department. He was released Monday from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center after posting a $7,500 bond.

Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway is urging anyone with information concerning this incident or has knowledge of similar scams to call the Kenner Police Detective Jeff Adams at (504) 712-2310 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.