Larkin T. Riser

Larkin Theodore "Ted" Riser, Jr.

Riser (c. 1970) as a student at Louisiana Tech University
Sheriff of Webster Parish, Louisiana
In office
July 1996  July 2004
Preceded by Royce L. McMahen
Succeeded by Gary Steven Sexton
Personal details
Born (1949-03-03) March 3, 1949
Place of birth missing
Nationality American
Political party Democrat / later Republican
Spouse(s) Gloria Butler "Jan B." Riser
Children Larkin T. Riser, III
Parents Larkin T., Sr., and Bessie Mae Scallion Riser
Residence Sibley, Webster Parish
Louisiana, USA
Alma mater Louisiana Tech University

Law-enforcement officer


Larkin Theodore Riser, Jr., known as Ted Riser (born March 3, 1949), is a former sheriff of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He served two terms as a Democrat from 1996 to 2004 but at some point after leaving office, he switched to Republican affiliation.[1]


Riser's grandfather, Clarence Riser (1893-1925), a native of Natchez, Mississippi, was killed, along with a brother-in-law, in a sawmill explosion in Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana. Riser's father, Larkin Riser, Sr., known as L. T. Riser (January 10, 1922 July 15, 2015), was three years old at the time.[2] Ola Magee Riser, the mother of Riser, Sr., then married his step-father, Clem Matthews. Riser, Sr., was among the last surviving members of the Civilian Conservation Corps and served in the United States Army. He retired after forty years of employment at the Roundtree Olds Cadillac dealership in Shreveport. He was a long-time deacon at the Heflin Baptist Church in Heflin in south Webster Parish and an active fisherman and gardener. He is interred at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Creston in Natchitoches Parish.[3]

Larkin's mother, the former Bessie Mae Scallion (born September 1928), resides in Heflin, as does his sister, Annette Williford and her husband, Tommy. Riser has a brother, Dennis Riser of Selma, Alabama.[3][2]

A former officer of the Louisiana State Police, Ted Riser resides in Sibley south of the parish seat of Minden. He has resided in Webster Parish continuously since 1974. He has taken numerous bicycle trips throughout the United States.[4] Riser attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and listed a Shreveport address while there in his junior year in 1970. This indicates that he likely graduated from high school in Shreveport.[5] He has also resided in Bossier City, Louisiana.[6]

Riser and his wife, the former Gloria Butler (born February 1952), also known as Jan B. Riser, have a son, Larkin T. Riser, III (born January 1985) of Bossier City.[7] Jan Riser is one of two children and the only daughter of Joe Butler (1924-2013), a former mayor of Dubberly in south Webster Parish, and his wife, the former Elsie Brunson (born June 1933).[8]

Riser is one of three principals in the Louisiana Law Hunting Club, Inc., which was established in 1994.[9]

Political life

On October 21, 1995, Riser won the two-candidate primary election to succeed the retiring Sheriff Royce L. McMahen, a Democrat and a veterinarian from Springhill in northern Webster Parish near the Arkansas border. He defeated fellow Democrat and McMahen's chief deputy, Thomas Dale "Tommy" Kemp, Sr. (born August 1941), known as "The Singing Deputy" because of his talent in gospel and country music.[10] Riser polled 7,935 votes (53.7 percent) to Kemp's 6,848 (46.3 percent).[11][12] The sheriff collects property taxes, enforces criminal law in the parish outside of the municipalities, and with his staff of deputies is recognized as the most powerful political officer in the parish.

Upon taking office, Riser dismissed several deputies who had worked openly for Kemp in the 1995 election. These deputies sued for violation of rights through political retaliation but soon dropped their case. Riser then sued under the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Award Act of 1976 to gain reimbursement of his legal fees accrued in the suit. However, he was rebuffed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on grounds that the issue was not a civil rights matter.[13]

Even more deputies subsequently joined in a suit against Riser and former Sheriff McMahen, who died in 1999, regarding the calculation of overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The sheriffs were sued personally as well as in connection with their job duties.[14]

In 1999, Riser won his second term by a similar margin as his first when he defeated former sheriff's deputy Thomas Cameron "T. C." Bloxom, Jr. (1929-2014), a native of Mansfield in DeSoto Parish but long-term Minden resident. Riser polled 7,552 votes (54.3 percent) to Bloxom's 6,351 (45.7 percent). Bloxom had become a deputy in 1956 under J. D. Batton and continued in that role under successor Sheriffs O. H. Haynes, Jr., and Royce McMahen.[15] One of the best known of law-enforcement officers in Webster Parish, Bloxom was also the appointed Minden Fire Department chief from 1971 to 2008 and the elected city police chief from 1990 to 2010, a position that he held during his second race for sheriff against Riser in 1999.[16] In 1983, Bloxom had unsuccessfully challenged McMahen in the latter's bid for a second term. He polled 4,425 votes (25.5 percent) to McMahen's 11,090 (64 percent).[17]

During his time as sheriff, Riser seemed repeatedly at odds with the Webster Parish Police Jury, the parish governing body akin to the county commission in most other states. The dispute centered over the housing and reimbursement of the costs of prisoners. Riser accused the police jury of not paying its bills after the jurors offered barely half of what the sheriff said was owed. The police jury, led by his president Charles Roger "Charlie" Walker, Sr. (1931-2015) of Doyline, subsequently sued Riser, whom it accused of allowing his employees and inmate crews to sabotage the vacant parish penal farm; the damages rendered the facility inoperable for further use as a jail.[18][19]Josh Beavers, former publisher of the Minden Press-Herald, said that Walker handled the controversy with Riser fairly: "Through all of the turmoil, I never felt like Mr. Walker was trying to be subversive. He was always honest, always open."[20]

Under Riser, a new $7.3 million state-of-the-art prison, the Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center, named for Dorcheat Bayou and located within the former Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant, or Camp Minden, west of Minden, was constructed to house up to 340 prisoners. Because the land on which the center lies is former United States Army property, Riser depended on then U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat defeated in 2014, to break through the federal regulations: "She was a real champion for us. She ... helped us get through everything that had to be done in Washington."[21]

In 2003, Riser was handily unseated by his fellow Democrat and former deputy, Gary Steven Sexton[22] (born April 1953) of Shongaloo in central Webster Parish. Sexton received 8,610 votes (64.2 percent) to Riser's 4,814 (35.9 percent).[23]

In 2009, Riser was hired as a part-time deputy by Sheriff Charles Mahier McDonald, Jr. (born December 1954), a Democrat from Richland Parish,[24] based in Rayville, ninety-six miles from Riser's home in Sibley. In March 2012, then Governor Bobby Jindal reappointed Riser as an at-large member of the board of directors of the Correctional Facilities Corporation Board.[25] Established by the legislature in 1985 to build and equip prisons for lease to the state, the corporation raises funds through revenue bonds.[26]


  1. "Larkin Riser, April 1949". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Joseph R. Riser (Great-grandfather of Larkin T. Riser, Jr.)". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Larkin Theodore Riser, Sr.". Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  4. "Riser to speak at Thursday meeting". Minden Press-Herald. December 11, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  5. Louisiana Tech University, Lagniappe (1970), Junior class, p. 111
  6. "Larkin Theodore Riser". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  7. "Larkin Riser, January 1985". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  8. "Joe Butler obituary". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  9. "Louisiana Law Hunting Club, Inc.". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  10. "Singing deputy will entertain at banquet", Minden Press-Herald]], January 24, 1975, p. 1
  11. "Results for Election Date: 10/21/1995 Webster Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  12. Minden Press-Herald, October 23, 1995, p. 1
  13. "Dean v. Riser". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  14. "Allen vs. Sheriffs Deputies of Webster Parish (United States Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit)". 2001. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  15. "Results for Election Date: 10/23/1999: Webster Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  16. "T. C. Bloxom, long-time Minden fire chief, dies", The Shreveport Times, July 14, 2014
  17. "Results for Election Date: 10/22/1983: Webster Parish". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  18. "Ted Riser". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  19. KTBS-TV, Shreveport, Louisiana, July 30, 2003
  20. "Walker remembered as father, leader and friend". Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  21. Josh Beavers (March 28, 2002). "Dorcheat Center Ready at Last". Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  22. KTBS-TV, October 21, 2003
  23. "Results for Election Date: 10/4/2003: Webster Parish". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  24. "Larkin T. "Ted" Riser, Jr.: Ethics Board Docket No. 2008-658". October 30, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  25. "Governor Bobby Jindal Announces the Reappointments to the Correctional Facilities Corporation Board of Directors". March 22, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  26. "Riser named to board of prison corporation". Retrieved September 18, 2014.
Preceded by
Royce L. McMahen
Sheriff of Webster Parish, Louisiana

Larkin Theodore "Ted" Riser, Jr.

Succeeded by
Gary Steven Sexton
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