Leonard R. "Pop" Hataway

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Leonard Ray "Pop" Hataway
Sheriff of Grant Parish, Louisiana
In office
Preceded by Joe T. Morgan
Succeeded by

Preston H. Mosley (interim)

Baxter Welch (full term)
Personal details
Born (1939-08-05) August 5, 1939 (age 77)
Grant Parish, Louisiana, USA
Nationality American
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Sharon H. Hataway

Shana Lynn Delrie

Lance Wesley Hataway
Occupation Law-enforcement officer

Leonard Ray Hataway, known as Pop Hataway (born August 5, 1939),[1][2] is a Democrat[1] who served as the sheriff of his native Grant Parish in north central Louisiana from 1976 to 2008. Upon his defeat for a ninth four-year term in 2007, he was appointed by Republican Governor Bobby Jindal to the influential Louisiana Board of Pardons and Paroles. He left the sheriff's office six months early and was succeeded on an interim basis by Preston H. Mosley.


Hataway is one of ten children of Alton James Hataway, Sr., and the former Edith Simmons. All four brothers and two of the five sisters are deceased. Brother Alton James Hataway, Jr. (1920–2008), was a prisoner of war of the Nazis during World War II who thereafter worked for more than four decades for the United States Forest Service.[3] Another brother, Russell Alfred Hataway (1924–2005), was a World War II veteran who owned and operated Reed's Typewriter Exchange, Inc., in Alexandria. Russell Hataway was a member of the Grant Parish Police Jury and was an alderman in Dry Prong in eastern Grant Parish.[4]

The deceased siblings are Melvin, L. C., Lorraine, and Laurad. As of 2008, he had three living sisters, Jewel Hataway Floyd of Center, Texas, Pauline Hataway Futrell and husband L. G. of Dry Prong, and Iva Jean Hataway Defresco and husband Carmen of Dry Prong. Many of the Hataways are interred at Dry Prong Cemetery.[4]

Hataway and his wife, Sharon H. Hataway (born 1943), reside in Dry Prong. They have two children, Lance Wesley Hataway (born 1965) and Shana Lynn Delrie.[2]

Political life[edit]

Hataway was first elected sheriff at the age of thirty-six in 1975. He had been a deputy to his mentor, Sheriff Joe T. Morgan (1912-1991) of Williana.[5][6]He won most of his elections thereafter with ease. In 1983, he defeated in the nonpartisan blanket primary three other Democrats to win his third term as sheriff with 56.7 percent of the vote.[7] Lew Lasyone, the first Republican to run for sheriff in historically Democratic Grant Parish in the 20th century, lost twice to Hataway by wide margins in 1995[8] and in 1999.[9] In the 2007 general election runoff contest, however, he was unseated by fellow Democrat Baxter Welch, 3,817 (56.7 percent) to 2,914 (43.3 percent).[10]

Baxter Welch served a single term; he was unseated in the 2011 primary election. In the general election thereafter, the Independent Steven McCain of Colfax defeated, 57-43 percent, the former chief criminal deputy under Hataway, Preston Mosley.[11] Mosley is again challenging McCain in the primary election scheduled for October 24, 2015.

Hataway is a former president of the Louisiana Sheriff's Association and a former vice president of the Red River Delta Law Enforcement Planning Council in Pineville, Louisiana. He has served on the Louisiana Highway Board, the Drug Control and Violent Crime Policy Board, and the U.S. Penitentiary Community Relations Board. He graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia, the National Sheriff’s Institute in Los Angeles, the Louisiana State University Law Enforcement Institute in Baton Rouge, and the Interrogation School of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.[12]

Jindal balanced his appointment of the Democrat Hataway to the Board of Pardons and Paroles with the selection of Republican Henry "Tank" Powell, a former state representative from Ponchatoula in Tangipahoa Parish. The board meets on regularly scheduled, publicly announced dates to consider applications for pardon, commutation of sentences, and the restoration of civic rights and privileges.[12] In January 2012, Jindal reappointed Hataway to a second four-year term on the board. Unlike many state boards, the position is salaried in the amount of $3,000 gross per month.[13]

After he left the sheriff's department, Hataway was cleared of ethics violations by a three-member panel of administrative law judges. He had been accused in an anonymous complaint of having used his authority as sheriff to force the release of two people from the Grant Parish correctional facility without the proper bonds. From the start, Hataway maintained that he had violated no law and hired the attorney Taylor Townsend, a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Natchitoches, as his legal representative. The judges maintain that the Louisiana Ethics Board did not prove its case by "clear and convincing" evidence.[14]

In 2013, Hataway was among the inductees of the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[15]Only four other sheriffs have received this designation, Cat Doucet, Charles Fuselier, Harry Lee, and Jessel Ourso.


  1. ^ a b "Leonard Ray Hataway". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Prong&state=LA "Leonard R. Hataway" Check |url= value (help). usa-people-search.com. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Alton James Hataway". findagrave.com. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Russell Alfred Hataway". findagrave.com. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Joe T. Morgan". findagrave.com. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  6. ^ ""L. R. (Pop) Hataway: Notable People from Grant Parish"". The Alexandria Town Talk]]. April 12, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Primary election returns, Grant Parish, October 22, 1983". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Primary election returns, Grant Parish, October 21, 1995". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Primary election returns, Grant Parish, October 23, 1999". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ "General election returns, Grant Parish, November 17, 2007". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ "General election returns, Grant Parish, November 19, 2011". staticresults.os.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Appointments to Board of Pardons, February 6, 2008". gov.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Jindal appoints former lawmakers to pardon board". Houma Today, January 31, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ex-Grant Parish Sheriff Hataway cleared of ethics charges". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, story undated. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Louisiana Political Hall of Fame welcomes members, February 11, 2013". businessreport.com. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
Preceded by
Joe T. Morgan
Sheriff of Grant Parish, Louisiana

Leonard Ray "Pop" Hataway

Succeeded by
Preston H. Mosley (interim)

Baxter Welch