Says he will seek re-election
St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran has been charged with DWI after he did not complete the pre-trial diversion program he enrolled in after he was arrested for the crime in September of 2017.
According to Jefferson Parish Court records filed on Friday, Cochran was also charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, one of two charges he faced as result of his arrest on Sept. 2, when Cochran was allegedly driving while intoxicated in Kenner.
The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office offered Cochran the option to participate in the diversion program as it noted is protocol for a first-time offender. Pre-trial diversion is a voluntary alternative to criminal prosecution for offenders accused of misdemeanors or nonviolent felony crimes. Participants undergo counseling and other activities in the program, including drug and alcohol tests. Charges can be dismissed or refused if the participant successfully completes the program.
Completion of the program would have led to dropped charges and Cochran having the option to have the arrest expunged from his criminal record.
His failure to complete the program means he must now face the charges. Cochran’s arraignment is scheduled for April 29.
Through a statement released Friday, Cochran said he made the decision to not complete the program so he could continue to receive medical care following a 2018 motorcycle accident he was involved in.
“Yesterday, I made the decision to resign from participating in the diversion program,” Cochran said. “That decision was made so I could finish receiving medical procedures for the injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident I was involved in last year. This decision did not come lightly. However, it is one that I needed to make, so I can take ownership of the incident, allowing me and my family to move past it, and to also finish receiving medical treatment needed to fully recover.
“I am deeply sorry for the negativity or embarrassment that this has brought to our community, parish employees, and most of all to my family and friends. St. Charles Parish government will continue to conduct business as usual and will continue to strive to provide high quality, efficient services to sustain and enhance the quality of life for all residents.”
“This decision did not come lightly.” – Larry Cochran
When contacted Monday, Adrienne Bourgeois, interim public information officer for St. Charles Parish, said Cochran has no plans to resign and will seek a second term as parish president. That election will be held later this year.
Cochran’s 2017 arrest came after another Kenner motorist called police to report erratic driving on the road by a St. Charles Parish government vehicle during early morning hours. According to the arrest report, a responding officer said Cochran’s eyes were red and glassy and his speech was slurred when he was pulled over. According to police, Cochran said that he was delivering documents to his secretary.
Cochran, 57, had no detectable alcohol in his system when he took a Breathalyzer test. According to police, he performed poorly on a field-sobriety test, which Cochran attributed to bad knees following a 2015 surgery. Blood samples were taken as a result and revealed there was no alcohol in his system but apparently detected three prescription painkillers, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Oxymorphone, according to Kenner police.
Later, in April of 2018, Cochran was involved in a motorcycle crash in which he required intensive care for his injuries. He was a passenger on the bike during the wreck, which he noted occurred while he was teaching his daughter how to drive it.