Public fascination with Edwin Edwards frustrates Lafayette man

Says former governor needs to apologize for previous actions

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 6:04pm

LAFAYETTE, La (NBC33) -- The release of former governor Edwin Edwards is seen as a good thing by those that know him, but one Lafayette man is fuming over all the hype surrounding the 83-year-old's future.

"How do you have morals when your leader is the most immoral man in the state?" asks Dale Hazelwood. The Lafayette Republican watched Edwin Edwards take office in 1972 and stay there for years, but the former governor has never been a popular choice for the Louisiana native.

"He never had my vote," says Hazelwood. Hazelwood says he wasn't surprised when the governor was sentenced to ten years in prison on racketeering charges. "He wasted ten years of his life, but he wasted a lot of money for the state. He deserved it and probably more than that."

Now that the popular governor is out of jail, Hazelwood think's he's been given a public pardon. "I look at what people do, not what they say," says Hazelwood. "What Edwin Edwards has done, I wouldn't want my people to associate with that."

Hazelwood is particularly frustrated with the invitation that was extended to Edwards for the Crowley Rice Festival. He was asked to be the grand marshal of the parade. "That, to me, is like let's go pick anybody who got released from jail today and then say, I'm innocent. Then, they go make him a hero."

Hazelwood says he's not about giving the former governor a second chance. He just wants Edwards to apologize for his actions.

"He needs to say I'm sorry. I did wrong. And then maybe I'd say, okay go live your life and we'll give you the recognition a governor deserves. Until he does that, to me, he's just another common felon.

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