Hot News

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AMY PICKHOLTZ’S REQUEST FOR HELP

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I received news a few days ago that prosecuting attorney, Paul Knight who was working on the criminal case against Mayor Brenda Melancon [of Sorrento, Louisiana] has been removed from the case. This is devastating to me and my family, and is a blow to the entire motorcycle community. Mr. Knight was attempting to do everything in his power to initiate some justice in the criminal justice system. He confered with me on several occasions and his course of action was a step towards resolution that would have been a positive outcome to a tragic, and catastrophic incident, and I had the utmost respect and trust in what he was persuing to find resolution.

Mayor Brenda Melancon killed my husband Jim Pickholtz on October 14, 2007 and nearly killed me. I have suffered devastating and permanent crippling injuries, lost my husband, who was not only the love of my life, but the father of 2 children and stepfather of 2 children, and the income earner of our household. His parents lost their son, his sister lost her brother, a nephew his uncle, and a community of people a dear friend. Jim was 41 years old.

I know that the case is now being handled by Dana Cummings, who is the Director of the Criminal Justice Department in the Attorney General’s Office. I implore the motorcycle community to call or write to either Dana Cummings and/or to Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to let them know how important this case is to our community and that we cannot allow this case to be swept under the rug. A slap on the wrist is not justice. We need to stand up and let our voice be heard. There needs to be justice, not just law.

Thank you from the depths of my heart for supporting me and my family, and the memory of my husband Jim with your voices and your words.

Sincerely,

Amy Pickholtz

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MAC LOUISIANA’S CALL-TO-ACTION

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From: Warren Broussard [mailto:koolhog1@cox.net]

Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 7:50 AM

To: Bruce@ldrlongdistancerider.com

Cc: Pickholtz Amy

Subject: CALL TO ACTION FOR AMY PICKHOLTZ …

Motorcycle Awareness Campaign (MAC) LA

Warren Broussard, President

Written by Dara “Sam” McLain [mailto: fxdwgrider@comcast.net]:

On Monday, October 14, 2007, in Sorrento, Louisiana, the local Mayor, Brenda Melancon, violated the right-of-way of motorcyclist Jim Pickholtz, [killing him and severely injuring his wife]. The Mayor was arrested on felony charges; negligent homicide, negligent injuring, and failure to yield from a private drive:

Mayor Melancon, by her own words from the news reports, stated she never knew what hit her. The Mayor said, “I didn’t see them coming.” As motorcyclists, we know that when an accident like this occurs, the driver either didn’t look, or didn’t look well enough. She made a left turn out of a private drive, and immediately hit Jim Pickholtz and killed him. Amy Pickholtz is still recovering from permanently crippling injuries.

The Mayor posted bail within hours, and has been back on the job as Mayor since this tragic event. Amy Pickholtz has been left with no family income and children to care for. The prosecuting Attorney has been removed from the case and the Director of the Criminal Division of the Louisiana State Attorney General Office, Dana Cummings, has been assigned to the case. There has been NO explanation for this move. One can only speculate as to why. Amy Pickholtz stated that the former prosecuting attorney was making ground on the evidence and prosecution.

As motorcyclists who look out for their own, we must NOT allow Mayor Melancon go free without restitution, and this may very well happen without nationwide support. Please help Amy obtain justice for her husband’s death and her own loss of quality of life due to this gross negligence, and stop a public official from going free. Louisiana law could put Mayor Melancon away for five years, if proven guilty, and if the prosecution and presiding judge can be made to uphold that which they are sworn to do; punish those who would kill us needlessly. And if this case is successfully prosecuted, it will have an effect on future cases like these, EVERYWHERE.

Send your outrage at allowing a public official to continue in her job after being arrested on felony charges. Tell them all that “I didn’t see them” is not a valid excuse for killing someone. She broke the law and caused death and disfigurement and a lifetime of sorrow for an innocent family. She needs to pay. Tell them you vote and their offices are subject to change in the next election and you will NOT stand for obstruction of justice because it was a public official who did the killing.

Write to all the officials below. Be sure to include your address, and/or phone, especially if you live in Louisiana.

The Honorable James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, Attorney General Louisiana Attorney Generals Office

Physical: 1885 North 3rd St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Mailing: P.O. Box 94005, Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Phone: 225-326-6100

Email: caldwellj@ag.state.la.us

Dana J. Cummings

Director of Criminal Division, Louisiana Attorney Generals Office

Phone: 225-326-6200; fax: 225-326-6297

Email: cummingsd@ag.state.la.us, criminalInfo@ag.state.la.us

Ms. Linda Southhall, Assistant To The Attorney General

Fax: 225-326-6797

Email: southhalll@ag.state.la.us

Administrative Services Division:

Phone: 225-326-6705

Fax: 225-326-6793

Email: adminInfo@ag.state.la.us

Executive Division, John W. Sinquefield, First Asst. Attorney General:

Phone: 225-326-6705

Fax: 225-342-8703

Email: executive@ag.state.la.us

Investigation Division:

Phone: 225-326-6100, 800-488-2770

Fax: 225-326-6197

Email: investigationInfo@ag.state.la.us

Litigation Division:

Phone: 225-326-6300, 225-326-6705

Fax: 225-326-6490

Email: litInfo@ag.state.la.us

Public Protection Division:

Phone: 225-326-6438

Fax: 225-326-6497

Email: publicprotectionInfo@ag.state.la.us

You should also copy:

The Honorable Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana Office of the Governor P.O. Box 94004 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004

Phone: 225-342-7015

Fax: 225-342-7099

Possible emails for Governor Jindal: constituent@la.gov, info@bobbyjindal.com

Website: http://www.gov.state.la.us/

Email block for mass mailings:

caldwellj@ag.state.la.us, cummingsd@ag.state.la.us, criminalInfo@ag.state.la.us, southhalll@ag.state.la.us, adminInfo@ag.state.la.us, executive@ag.state.la.us, investigationinfo@ag.state.la.us, litInfo@ag.state.la.us, publicprotectioninfo@ag.state.la.us, constituent@la.gov, info@bobbyjindal.com

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SAMPLE LETTER:

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Honorable Officials of Louisiana,

I have been watching the proceedings in the case of the death of Jim Pickholtz by negligent homicide, negligent injuring, and failure to yield from a private drive, in which Mayor Brenda Melancon was arrested and charged with a felony.

It is my understanding that Mayor Melancon has been allowed to continue her job as Mayor during these proceedings. I find that deplorable, while Amy Pickholtz is left without a husband and a family income, as well as permanently crippling injuries. Any other person would have lost their job or in the very least been suspended. One would think the Mayor is “special” and deserves better treatment than your average citizen.

Traffic rules are not guidelines. They are made into law to protect innocent citizens who abide by the law. Yielding the right-of-way requires a driver to stop and look for oncoming traffic before pulling out and making a left-hand turn. She stated that she looked both ways and then pulled out, but the crash was instantaneous; by her own words, she said she didn’t even know what she hit. That’s a good indication that Jim Pickholtz was much too close for her NOT to see him, IF she had looked. Everyone blames the small size of a motorcycle, but I always see them. Because I LOOK for them. And motorcycles have as much right to be on the road as any other legal vehicle. “I didn’t see them”, or “I looked” is an unsubstantiated excuse.

Failure to “see” another vehicle or motorcyclist, when a motorist does not look, makes it a willful act. Does her saying she looked before pulling out make it so? NO. Motorcyclists are always watching for those who would pull into their path, and would not willingly hit another vehicle if it can be helped. She was too close for him to do anything. She did NOT look.

The fact that Brenda Melancon is the Mayor should have no bearing on seeing justice done for Amy and her family. A public office does not exempt a person from paying the price of taking a life through negligence. A slap on the hand for Mayor Melancon only assures that others will also go unpunished for such negligence. And let us not forget that such negligence took a life and severely damaged the lives of an innocent family.

I sincerely hope that removing Attorney Paul Knight from the case was done to strengthen the proceedings with a more knowledgeable Attorney, and not out of concern that Mr. Knight may prove the Mayor’s guilt. As that would be criminal too.

As a motorcyclist, I am aware of the high number of deaths caused by a failure to yield, and/or negligence. In most cases the guilty party (proven so in court) is given a slap on the hand or a traffic fine for killing a motorcyclist/bicyclist/pedestrian. That “someone” could be me next time. And it is appalling that our court system cannot see fit to punish those who kill us needlessly. I am a motorcyclist, I am a law-abiding citizen. And never forget that I also vote.

Therefore, I am appealing to you, as a citizen of this country, who has a right to fair and thorough prosecution, regardless of the public office the alleged guilty party holds, to please see that justice is done for Amy Pickholtz. Her husband’s death should not be passed off on the excuse of “I didn’t see them”. For had she truly LOOKED, Amy’s husband might be alive today, and her injuries non-existent.

I would also remind you that on your website, the following quotes are displayed for all to see:

“Deeply committed to preserving and protecting the health, safety, welfare, and legal interests of all of the citizens of Louisiana”.

and

“The Criminal Division seeks justice on behalf of the citizens of the state of Louisiana by assisting federal, state and local agencies in the investigation and prosecution of a wide range of criminal matters.”

and

“As your lawyer, I have a tremendous responsibility to protect the public as well as to uphold the laws and the Constitution of Louisiana”

I urge you to prosecute to the full extent of the law, and to seek the maximum penalty for this death. Five years is nothing compared with what Amy Pickholtz must face the rest of her life. The American public must see that killing needlessly in this manner is not tolerated. Louisiana has the penalties for this crime, please show that your sworn oath to uphold the law applies to ALL citizens.

Respectfully,

Your Name

Your Address

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“The battle for bikers’ rights is not about patches, parties or poker runs. We fight to protect the freedom and promote the interests of American motorcyclists … to defend our right to choose our own modes of transportation, attire and lifestyle … to deter and defy discrimination against us … and to vanquish those who violate our rights or right-of-way.”–Bruce Arnold

http://ldrlongdistancerider.com/bikers_rights.php

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