Former Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright is seeking to terminate his three-year probation 18 months early, after he was convicted on federal corruption charges in 2013 and after he served 15 months in a Texas prison. According to a motion filed in court today, Wright’s seafood processing business suffered as a result of his incarceration, and releasing the former mayor from supervised release would allow him to “rebuild the business” by traveling to maintain contact with suppliers and customers and developing new markets.The motion cites Wright’s “age, stable family and community background, lack of criminal history, business acumen and financial resources, as well as his conduct while under supervision,” as grounds for release, while also noting that he abided by the terms of 18 months of pretrial supervision.
Wright was convicted of fraud, theft from a government program and witness intimidation and retaliation after evidence showed he sold a sliver of personal property for $27,300 to a federal grant program and later retaliated against a city employee who helped spawn the subsequent investigation. Former Bayou La Batre Police Sgt. Darryl Wilson, who testified during Wright’s trial that he felt his life was in danger, reached a separate, confidential settlement with the city months later.
In a statement provided this afternoon, Wilson said, “I would hope the judge and probation office would reach out to the victim in the case and afford an opportunity for a response. I disagree with an early termination due to the seriousness of the offense and an early termination clearly sends the message a corrupt politician does not have to serve his sentence like everyone else. But it goes deeper because of the nature of the crime and the light sentence depresses others from standing up and telling the truth.”