On Wednesday, March 1. 2023, the Supreme Court of Louisiana acquitted New Orleans 2nd City Judge Ernestine Anderson-Trahan for charges of misfiled tax returns.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Ernestine Anderson-Trahan” with case no. 2022-O-0055.

On January 14, 2023, the 4WWLO reported that the Supreme Court of Louisiana suspended Judge Anderson-Trahan for being indicted by a federal grand jury for the alleged filing of false tax returns. According to reports, Judge Anderson-Trahan failed to inform the Internal Revenue Service regarding the money she received for officiating weddings.

Specifically, the conviction of the respondent was due to her four counts of submitting false tax returns over four consecutive tax years. This led to the respondent being alleged to underreport her income from legal fees and officiating weddings. In November, in the opening statements of the respondent’s trial, the prosecutors alleged that judge Anderson-Trahan had failed to report as much as $100,000 of her income to lower her tax liability. This resulted in $37,874 of money being saved by the respondent.

However, on February 16, 2023, Nola reported that court judge Nannette Jolivette Brown acquitted the same through a 63-page order. According to the report, the cases that were presented by prosecutors of the U.S. Department of Justice were riddled with inconsistencies and failed to prove that the respondent acted willfully when she misfiled tax returns leading to U.S. District. At the end of the trial, the prosecutors failed to prove the counts and submit concrete evidence.

Judge Brow leaned towards the respondent and its overwhelming reputation of truthfulness stating, “Considering the government’s shifting theories of tax loss and the wealth of mitigating evidence presented, the government’s arguments simply came across as, at best, unrefined and, at worst, contrived”. Moreover, according to the judge, the prosecutors relied heavily on “inference” instead of concrete evidence.

Anderson Trahan’s lead defense attorney, Michael Magner, stated on the acquittal of her client, “We are thrilled beyond words. Judge Brown sat through the trial and recognizes that the government simply failed to make its case. Judge Anderson is a wonderful person and a very conscientious and compassionate judge.”

Consistent with the report, an order of acquittal was issued by the Supreme Court of Louisiana, dissolving the January 12, 2022 order that disqualifies Judge Anderson-Trahan from exercising judicial functions.

The Disposition states:

“IT IS ORDERED that the motion be and hereby is granted on the ground that Judge Anderson-Trahan has been acquitted of the felony criminal charges pending against her. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule XXIII, § 27(e), this court’s order of January 12, 2022, interim disqualifies Judge Anderson-Trahan from exercising judicial functions and hereby is dissolved. This order shall be effective immediately.”

Judge Anderson-Trahan’s courtroom is located at 225 Morgan St, New Orleans, LA 70114, and can be reached at +1 504-407-0435. Her info can be found on ballotpedia.org.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.