Veteran Louisiana journalist and author Tom Aswell’s third nonfiction book, Louisiana’s Rogue Sheriffs: A Culture of Corruption, is scheduled was launched on July 1, Aswell and Claitor’s Book Publishing an-nounced today. The late Louisiana po-litical writer John Magin-nis recognized that power when he wrote that only two elected offices really mattered in Louisiana: governor and sheriff. “That much pow-er wielded by sheriffs possessing a general lack of qualifications often leads to abuses that often go unreported,” Aswell said. My book shines the spotlight on cases of abuse, malfeasance, theft, murder and official pro-tection of—and in some cases, actual participation in—gambling and prosti-tution.” Among the specific cases Aswell unveils in the book. The sheriff of a north Louisiana parish and his chief deputy were actively involved with the Ku Klux Klan and figured in no fewer than eight civil rights murders in the 1950s. A south Louisiana sheriff was indicted by a federal grand jury for physical and mental abuse of African-American prisoners in his jail, only to be acquitted, even as several of his deputies were convicted. 

• A former north Louisi-ana sheriff was sentenced to federal prison follow-ing his conviction of drug trafficking. • One former sheriff is said to have been a bag man for Mafia boss Carlos Marcello. • A current sheriff obtained a warrant to raid the home of an internet blogger whose only offense was posting remarks critical of the sheriff.

• A sheriff defeated for reelection by a former deputy planted a bomb that blew off the foot of his successor.

• A north Louisiana sheriff and a district attorney conspired to convict a national rodeo champion for a double murder that he did not commit.

• Three consecutive sheriffs of one Louisiana parish were sentenced to prison terms. 

Aswell published two previous books with Peli-can Publishing: Louisiana Rocks: The True Genesis of Rock & Roll, and Bob-by Jindal: His Destiny and Obsession. Additionally, he edited books for two other authors: With Ed-wards in the Governor’s Mansion: From Angola to Free Man, by Forest Hammond-Martin, Sr., and Smuggler’s End: The Life and Death of Barry Seal, by retired FBI agent Del Hahn.

For additional infor-mation signings, contact Aswell by email at:

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