Risley C. Triche

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Risley C. Triche
Louisiana State Representative from Assumption and later Ascension parishes
In office
Preceded byClarence J. Savoie
Succeeded byCamille J. Russo
Juba Diez
Personal details
BornRisley Claiborne Charles Triche
(1927-08-16)August 16, 1927
Assumption Parish, Louisiana USA
DiedJune 26, 2012(2012-06-26) (aged 84)
Napoleonville, Louisiana
Resting placeAssumption Catholic Church Cemetery in Plattenville, Louisiana
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Predeceased by Clara Caballero Triche
RelationsPhilip H. Gilbert (maternal grandfather)
ChildrenRisley "Riz" Triche (1952-1980)[1]

James "Jimmy" Triche (deceased)
Anne Triche (deceased)
Martin "Marty" Triche
N. J. "Bumpy" Triche
Christine "Tina" Triche
Judge Jane Margaret Triche-Milazzo
Lisa Triche-Breaux

Twelve grandchildren
ResidenceNapoleonville, Louisiana
Considered one of the more colorful Louisiana legislators in a 21-year career

Risley Claiborne Charles Triche, also known as Pappy Triche (August 16, 1927 - June 26, 2012),[2] was an attorney in Napoleonville, Louisiana,[3] who served as a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1955 to 1976. Known for his flamboyance and theatrics in political circles,[4] Triche represented Assumption Parish during his entire legislative tenure and also Ascension Parish during his last four-year term, from 1972 to 1976.[5]

Early years and education[edit]

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 Louisiana State Senator and Lieutenant Governor Philip H. Gilbert.[6] 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.[7] His classmates included future U.S. Representative Gillis William Long and state Representatives Lloyd George Teekell of Alexandria and George B. Holstead of Ruston.[8]

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 the state.[2]

Legislative record[edit]

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 schools in Orleans Parish, as ordered by U.S. District 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."[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

In his last legislative session, Triche was a floor leader for Governor Edwin Washington Edwards but resigned in 1974 from the leadership post.[12]

In 1973, Triche was a member of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention, which wrote the current state Constitution of 1974.[2] His grandfather Gilbert was a member of constitutional conventions in 1908 and 1921.

In 1975, Triche unsuccessfully challenged fellow Democrat William J. Guste in the latter's bid for a second term as Attorney General of Louisiana. Guste prevailed with 672,065 votes (63 percent) to Triche's 398,088 (37 percent).[13] 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.[14] 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."[15] Triche won the backing of the since defunct Shreveport Journal, which took issue with Guste's record.[16]

Later years[edit]

In 1991, Triche became the court-appointed attorney for stateInsurance Commissioner Douglas D. "Doug" Green, who was given 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.[17]

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 Charles Melancon of Napoleonville, who failed in his challenge of Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter in 2010,[18] since succeeded by John Neely Kennedy.

In 2010, Triche was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield, along with Louisiana GOP pioneer Charlton Lyons and U.S. Representative Rodney Alexander.[19]

Triche died at his Napoleonville home at the age of eighty-four. Services were held at Assumption Catholic Church in Plattenville in Assumption Parish.[2]


  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Risley C. Triche". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Triche Law Firm". trichelaw.com. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  4. ^ Iris Kelso, "Pappy Triche is a happy lawyer", New Orleans Times Picayune, July 12, 1981.
  5. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2008" (PDF). house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  6. ^ "Mike Miller, "Hon. Philip H. Gilbert of Assumption Parish, Louisiana", from Henry F. Chambers, A History of Louisiana, (vol. 2), pp. 326-327, Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, Inc., 1925". usgwarchives.net. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  7. ^ "International Legal Fraternity of Phi Delta Phi". phideltaphi.org. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  8. ^ "Louisiana State University Gumbo yearbook, 1951". e-yearbook.com. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  9. ^ Jack Walter Peltason, Fifty-eight Lonely Men: Southern Federal Judges and Desegregation, 1971, pp. 228-229. Google Books. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  10. ^ Peltason, Google Books, pp. 229-230
  11. ^ Kenneth J. Neubeck, Noel A. Cazenave, Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card Against America's Poor, 2001. Google Books, p. x. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  12. ^ "Rep. Triche Quits Floor Leadership", Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, June 28, 1974
  13. ^ Election returns, Minden Press-Herald, November 3, 1975, p. 1
  14. ^ "Triche Says Guste 'To Political'", Minden Press-Herald, p. 16
  15. ^ Minden Press-Herald, October 27, 1975, p. 1
  16. ^ Shreveport Journal, October 17, 1975, editorial page
  17. ^ "United States of America, Plaintiff-Appelleee v. Douglas D. Green, Defendant-Appellant, June 15, 1992". bulk.resource.org. Archived from the original on May 16, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  19. ^ "The City of Winnfield, Louisiana: Visitor Info". www.citofwinnfield.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
Political offices
Preceded by
Clarence J. Savoie
Louisiana State Representative from Assumption Parish and for last term also Ascension Parish

Risley Claiborne Charles "Pappy" Triche

Succeeded by
Camille J. Russo

Juba Diez