Shreveport businessman, political figure Gus Mijalis dies

Shreveport businessman, political figure Gus Mijalis dies
(Source: KSLA News 12)

(KSLA) - Shreveport businessman Gus Mijalis has died.

He was 83 years old.

Mijalis died at 11:25 p.m. Tuesday at University Health in Shreveport, a hospital spokesman said.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

They are being handled through Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall St. in Shreveport.

Mijalis has been described by some as a longtime friend and gambling companion of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards and as Edwards' chief fundraiser in North Louisiana.

Mijalis resigned as an officer with the Bank of Commerce in Shreveport after he and others were indicted along with Edwards in March 1985 in a federal racketeering case.

Mijalis was a co-defendant with Edwards and a hospital architect when the former governor was accused in the mid-1980s of using his influence to get state approval of some hospital and nursing home projects.

After a mistrial, Mijalis was acquitted.

In an unrelated matter, he did serve 20 months in federal prison beginning in 1995 after pleading guilty to defrauding a bank.

Mijalis was released April 11, 1997.

But his legal problems were not over.

And they extended beyond Edwards and the bank.

For instance, state police once tried to block Mijalis' family, who own and operate Farmer's Seafood Co. in Shreveport, from selling seafood to riverboat casinos.

State police said that they wanted him to take a suitability test and that he likely would fail the test because he is a convicted felon.

Mijalis sued.

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