Fourth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Scott Leehy would not disclose the meaning of recent photos that surfaced on social media of him wearing a red dress by a table of open beer bottles and a poster that bragged about his state of inebriation.
In one photo, Leehy, 56, is next to a poster wishing him a happy birthday. The poster refers to Leehy by his first name. The Bud Light poster also displays the phrase, “Sober as a judge...but not this judge!” In another photo, Leehy is seated beneath the Bud Light poster with his arms outstretched.
Leehy’s birthday was Aug. 11, the same day on which the Red Dress Run was held in New Orleans. The annual Red Dress Run is organized by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers as a charity run through the French Quarter. The Hash House Harriers touts itself as a “Drinking Club with a Running Problem.” The Hash House Harriers’ motto alludes to the practice of “hashing,” which involves running or walking while drinking alcohol. During the charity run, participants —including men — wear red dresses and other clothing items normally worn by women.
When asked about the origin and meaning of the phrase on the Bud Light poster referring to his lack of sobriety, Leehy said, “What do you mean by that?”
After The Ouachita Citizen connected the phrase to the photos of him, Leehy dismissed the newspaper with a wave of the hand and began to walk away.
“Just use your imagination,” Leehy said, as he was halfway across a roadway.
The photos of Leehy in the red dress were posted on Instagram and Facebook by Evyn Caples. The Facebook photo of Leehy was included in an album featuring numerous other men in red dresses, including Evyn Caples’ father, Ricky Caples, a local orthodontist, wearing a red dress and a ladies’ sun hat topped with ruffle and flower.
The Facebook photo of Leehy and the other photos in Evyn Caples’ Facebook photo album were posted publicly, which meant the general public could view them.
A photo of Leehy with the red dress and beer bottles and poster first appeared on Instagram under Evyn Caples’ account, which at the time was private and not open to the public. The photo of Leehy wearing a red dress with his arms outstretched was shared locally through text messages. Several sources provided The Ouachita Citizen with screenshots of the photo of Leehy.
The photos of Leehy, whether on Instagram or Facebook, were removed after a few days, particularly after The Ouachita Citizen asked the judge about them.
As of Aug. 15, no photos or other content could be publicly viewed on Evyn Caples’ Instagram account, because her account was marked as private. That changed by Aug. 18, when Evyn Caples’ account and photos were made available to the public, though her photo of Leehy was no longer among the other content on her account. Several days later, The Citizen found Evyn Caples’ Instagram account to once again be private.
A similar photo of Leehy, where he stood by the poster instead of sitting beneath it, was made available to the public on Facebook in an Aug. 21 photo album under Evyn Caples’ account. The Ouachita Citizen asked Leehy about the photo on Sept. 7, and by the morning of Sept. 8, the photo of Leehy had disappeared from Evyn Caples’ Facebook account.
The Ouachita Citizen was unable to reach Evyn Caples, though phone calls to Ricky Caples’ household went unanswered.
A screenshot of the Instagram photo as well as the photo of Leehy on Facebook are published online at www.ouachitacitizen.com.