Ivan L. R. Lemelle
|Ivan L. R. Lemelle|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana|
April 7, 1998
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Veronica D. Wicker|
|Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana|
|Alma mater||Xavier University of Louisiana (B.S.)
Loyola University New Orleans School of Law (J.D.)
Early life and education
Born in Opelousas, Louisiana, Lemelle received a B.S. from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1971 and a J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 1974. He was a law clerk for Robert Collins of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court from 1972 to 1974.
Lemelle was an Assistant district attorney of Orleans Parish from 1974 to 1977. He was in private practice in New Orleans from 1977 to 1981. He was an assistant city attorney of New Orleans from 1977 to 1978. He was an assistant state attorney general of Louisiana Department of Justice from 1980 to 1984.
Lemelle served as U.S. Magistrate of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 1984 to 1998.
On February 12, 1997, Lemelle was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana vacated by Veronica D. Wicker. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 3, 1998, and received his commission on April 7, 1998.
During 2009, Lemelle was assigned the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case alleged against Renée Gill Pratt and Mose Jefferson, brother of former U.S. representative William J. Jefferson, who simultaneously stood indicted on sixteen counts in federal court in Virginia. On 2009 July 28, Lemelle delayed the start of the racketeering trial to 2010 January 25. In two separate trials during August 2009, William J. Jefferson was convicted on 11 felony counts related to bribery; Mose Jefferson, on four.
In 2009, Lemelle heard a real estate fraud case against Michael O'Keefe, Jr. (born c. 1959), the son of former Louisiana State Senate President Michael H. O'Keefe, Sr. The younger O'Keefe was at the time the president of Citywide Mortgage Company of New Orleans. He pleaded guilty to making false statements during a transaction with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The scam involved fraudulent appraisals, credit documents, and loan applications. O'Keefe was ordered to pay nearly $700,000 in restitution. He also served in prison for nearly two years.
On September 11, 2009, Lemelle visited Kentwood High School and O. W. Dillon Memorial Elementary School (both in Kentwood, Louisiana), Roseland Elementary School (in Roseland, Louisiana), and Northwood Preparatory High School (in Amite, Louisiana)—all in Tangipahoa Parish. The three schools are subject to potential changes, depending on Lemelle's ruling on a 4-decades-old desegregation-related settlement.
- "Trial delayed for Gill Pratt, Jefferson kin" in Times-Picayune, 2009 July 29, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B3. Besides Gill Pratt and Mose Jefferson, other defendants in the racketeering case were Betty Jefferson and her daughter Angela Jefferson Coleman. Brenda Jefferson Foster, younger sister of Mose Jefferson and Betty Jefferson, had entered a guilty plea in the racketeering case and obtained a promise of leniency in exchange for agreeing to testify against her siblings. The bribery trial of Mose Jefferson alone was still set to begin on 2009 August 10.
- The August 2009 trials concerned bribery per se, separate and apart from Mose Jefferson's indictment for racketeering, that trial being set by Lemelle to commence on 2010 January 25.
- ""Citywide President Pleads Guilty", April 21, 2009". mortgagefraudblog.com. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- Sylvia Schon, "Deseg judge visits schools" in Daily Star (Hammond), 2009 September 13, pp. 1A, 7A.