The visage of former Caddo Parish District Judge and late District Attorney Charles Rex Scott now has a place of honor in the halls of his last elected office.
A formal portrait of Scott, who died unexpectedly last April while on business in Baton Rouge, now adorns a wall in the Francis P. Bickham Building on Marshall Street just east of the courthouse.
Scott’s widow, son and daughter-in-law and six of his seven grandchildren unveiled the portrait in front of scores of DA employees, investigators and attorneys in the Caddo Parish Court House, then retired to the Bickham Building for the afternoon picture-hanging.
“What do you think, guys?” she asked as her son and several of the youngsters tried to get the portrait to hang on the level.
“I tried to get him to do this for seven years and he never would,” Alexis Scott said in brief remarks at the courthouse. “We’re doing it anyway. … Charles, Scotty, Judge, Dad — and some you of you called him boss — was a great and special part of our family and community who will live on forever in our hearts. We are not from Shreveport, but we do have roots here now because of all of our friends.”
Current District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. said he noticed not long after his election last fall and swearing-in earlier this year that Scott was missing from the lineup.
“One of the things I noticed when I got elected and came into the DA’s office is there was no picture, no portrait, of Charles Scott,” he said. “They had all these other photos on the end, black-and-white portraits of the other DAs.”
Now pictured with Scott in the office hallway are his successor and his predecessors Paul Carmouche, 1979-2008; John A. Richardson, 1960-1978; Edwin L. Blewer, 1942-1960; James V. Galloway, 1930-1942; Lawrence C. “Lal” Blanchard, 1916-1930; and William A. Mabry, 1912-1916.
Carmouche, the sole surviving elected DA aside from Stewart, also was at the ceremony, which was part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. It kicked off Monday at the U.S. Court House here with remarks by Judge Stewart and ends Saturday.
“We thought this would be an appropriate week to hang his portrait,” said Leone Fitzgerald, director of the DA’s Victim Assistant Program, who recalled the last time she saw him was when he spoke at last year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week start on the courthouse steps. She said he took the time not only to introduce her to then-new Mayor Ollie Tyler, but also to congratulate a child who had sung The Star-Spangled Banner and give her $20 for her singing.
That was April 20, two days before Scott died.
“He was a very pleasant easy boss to work for and I will always be honored I got to work for him,” Fitzgerald said.
She extolled Scott’s support for crime victims’ rights.
“If you worked for Judge Scott you saw him hustling through the courthouse on a regular basis, hugging people’s necks, smiling, shaking hands, checking on everybody, popping into the courtroom,” she said. “He would often come up to the Victim Assistance Program when he knew we had folks up there, just to see how they were doing, and to let them know he was thinking about them — even sometimes, as we witnessed, to pray with them before they went to court.”
Stewart, whose career paralleled that of Scott much of the last three decades, said Scott was “very dedicated, not only to the people of Caddo Parish, but the state of Louisiana.” He noted that a flat portrait does little to share the fullness “of a very multi-dimensional man. He was a great father, great husband. Even though our bodies go back to the earth and dust, the memories and what we have done on this Earth will last forever.”
The portrait unveiling and dedication was one of two events with the Caddo DA’s office Thursday associated with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Earlier that day, staffers were honored in a Crime Victims’ Service Award Ceremony at the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry Facility on Forum Drive.
There,the DA’s Victims Assistance Program was recognized for its work serving and advocating for victims of all levels of crime, from property and monetary offenses to more serious offenses such as domestic abuse, physical and sexual violence up to and including families of murder victims. The DA’s Human Trafficking Division was recognized for its partnership and collaboration with The FREE Coalition, aimed at raising awareness about and fighting human trafficking of both children and adults, and the Caddo Parish Community Response Team ,which focuses on juvenile victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. The Community Response Team has staffed more than 70 cases in which local children were being sexually exploited and/or trafficked.