Risley C. Triche
|Risley Claiborne Charles Triche|
Louisiana State Representative
for Assumption and
|Preceded by||Clarence J. Savoie|
|Succeeded by|| Camille J. Russo|
|Born|| August 16, 1927|
|Died|| June 26, 2012 (aged 84)|
|Resting place||Assumption Catholic Church Cemetery in Plattenville, Louisiana|
|Spouse(s)||Predeceased by Clara Caballero Triche|
|Children|| Risley "Riz" Triche (1952-1980)
James "Jimmy" Triche (deceased)
Risley Claiborne Charles Triche, also known as Risley C. Triche or Pappy Triche (August 16, 1927 – June 26, 2012), was an attorney in rural Napoleonville, Louisiana, who served as a Democratic state representative from 1955 to 1976. Known for his flamboyance and theatrics in political circles, Triche represented Assumption Parish during his entire legislative tenure and also Ascension Parish during his last four-year term from 1972 to 1976.
Early years and education
Triche was born in Napoleonville to Risley C. Triche (middle name of father not available), a planter and merchant, and the former Heloise Gilbert, the daughter of prominent sugar grower and state Senator Philip H. Gilbert. Triche received his law degree in 1951 from Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, where he was affiliated with Phi Delta Phi international legal fraternity. His classmates included future U.S. Representative Gillis Long and state Representatives Lloyd George Teekell of Alexandria and George B. Holstead of Ruston.
In the early 1950s at the age of twenty-four, Triche was elected mayor of Napoleonville, having been for a time the youngest mayor in his state.
Triche was originally a segregationist during the administration of Governor Jimmie Davis. In 1960, the legislature in special session adopted twenty-nine laws in a vain attempt to block the integration of public school]s in Orleans Parish, as ordered by U.S. District Court Judge J. Skelly Wright. Triche headed an eight-member legislative committee to supervise the schools based on the new measures. He vowed: "We are going to operate the schools the same on Monday as they are operating today, with the same students assigned to the same schools with the same teachers. There will be no change. . . . We know of no transfer of students nor requests for transfer which have been approved." Judge Wright, however, issued orders restraining Governor Davis, Education Superintendent Shelby M. Jackson, Louisiana state police, sheriffs, and local officials, and legislatures from interfering with his order, as desegregation slowly expanded in New Orleans. Much of the remainder of the state remained for several more years under continued segregated education.
Triche's views on race changed in time. Years later, he and two other Louisiana Democrats, U.S. District Judge Adrian Duplantier and former state Treasurer Mary Evelyn Parker, were interviewed for the 2001 book Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America's Poor. The three testified to their personal knowledge of racism in 1960-1961 in Louisiana against African American public assistance recipients.
In his last legislative session, Triche was a floor leader for Governor Edwin Edwards but soon resigned that position in 1974 from the leadership post. In 1973, Triche was a member of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention, which wrote the current state Constitution of 1974.
In 1975, Triche unsuccessfully challenged fellow Democrat William J. Guste in the latter's bid for a second term as state attorney general. Guste prevailed with 672,065 votes (63 percent) to Triche's 398,088 (37 percent). In the campaign, Triche accused Guste of being less than vigilant in the prosecution of illegal drug cases and "too political" in the prosecution of the office itself. Triche claimed further that he had seen the attorney general's office under Guste "deteriorate and decline in authority and respect to where it is almost useless." Triche won the backing of the since defunct Shreveport Journal, which took issue with Guste's record.
In 1991, Triche became the court-appointed attorney for state Insurance Commissioner Douglas D. "Doug" Green, who received a 25-year sentence for assorted felonies committed in connection with his official duties. Triche filed Green's appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, but the judges rejected any leniency toward the defendant, who had earlier turned aside a possible plea bargain with admission of guilt.
In 2008, the Triche Law Office was a donor to the successful reelection of Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of New Orleans, the Louisiana State Democratic Party, and U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon of Napoleonville, who failed in his2010 challenge of Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter
Triche died at his Napoleonville home at the age of eighty-four. Services were held at Assumption Catholic Church in Plattenville in Assumption Parish.
- Risley C. Triche. The New Orleans Times-Picayune (June 27, 2012). Retrieved on November 1, 2020.
- Triche Law Firm. trichelaw.com. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
- Iris Kelso, "Pappy Triche is a happy lawyer," The New Orleans Times Picayune, July 12, 1981.
- Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-20024. Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on October 31, 2020.
- International Legal Fraternity of Phi Delta Phi. phideltaphi.org. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
- Louisiana State University Gumbo yearbook, 1951. e-yearbook.com. Retrieved on July 3, 2013.
- Jack Walter Peltason. Fifty-eight Lonely Men: Southern Federal Judges and Desegregation, 1971, pp. 228-229. Google Books. Retrieved on November 1, 2020.
- Peltason, Google Books, pp. 229-230.
- Kenneth J. Neubeck and Noel A. Cazenave (2001). Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America's Poor. Google Books. Retrieved on November 1, 2020.
- "Rep. Triche Quits Floor Leadershi," The Baton Rouge Advocate, June 28, 1974.
- Election returns, Minden Press-Herald, November 3, 1975, p. 1.
- "Triche Says Guste 'Too Political,'" Minden Press-Herald, p. 16.
- Minden Press-Herald, October 27, 1975, p. 1.
- Shreveport Journal, October 17, 1975, editorial page.
- United States of America, Plaintiff-Appelleee v. Douglas D. Green, Defendant-Appellant. bulk.resource.org (June 15, 1992). Retrieved on June 17, 2013; material no longer accessible on-line.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 22, 2010.
- The City of Winnfield, Louisiana: Visitor Info. www.citofwinnfield.com. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.