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Mayoral recall election date set

Written by Emily Bell on . Posted in Local

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On Friday, Sept. 20, La. Governor Bobby Jindal ordered by executive proclamation a Nov. 16 election to recall Port Allen Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter.

The election will be the first recall election in West Baton Rouge Parish’s history, according to a state list of recall elections since 1966.

“It’s unusual for it to get to the point that it’s gotten to already in Port Allen,” La. Secretary of State Press Secretary Meg Casper said.

She said most recalls fail to procure the appropriate amount of signatures.

According to the election proclamation, the petition achieved a total of 1,387 certified signatures, about 36 percent of the total qualified electors in Port Allen and more than the 33 and one-third percent required by law.

The November ballot will be a “yes” or “no” ballot to recall the mayor, WBR Parish Registrar of Voters Stacy Ryan has said.

If a majority vote “yes,” the mayoral seat becomes vacant “upon expiration of the time period for contesting the recall election,” according to La. Revised Statute 18:1300.13.

Casper said anyone may contest a recall election just as they may for any other election.

If the mayor is successfully recalled, Casper said, the Port Allen City Council would then appoint someone to fill the vacancy temporarily until local election authorities call a special election to fill the position.

In the special election, Slaughter could run again, according to Louisiana election law.

The last vacancy in the mayoral seat occurred in June 2011 when former mayor Derek Lewis pled guilty to federal charges of racketeering. Mayor Pro-Temp R.J. Loupe temporarily filled that vacancy until Nov. 2011 when Roger Bergeron was elected mayor and fulfilled the remainder of the term until Dec. 31, 2012.

The current mayoral term ends Dec. 31, 2016, according to the La. Secretary of State website.

Since Jan. 1, Slaughter:

-Instructed the city’s payroll clerk to give her almost $85,000 a year, even though city council members say they budgeted $65,000 a year, and the 2012-2013 budget shows less than $85,000 available for the mayor’s salary.

-Attended the Presidential inauguration on taxpayer dollars, saying she was there to represent the city.

-Has been involved in an ongoing court case with the city’s CFO, whom she attempted to fire in February without city council approval. Slaughter called the CFO position an “administrative staff position to the mayor,” but some city council members argued and a judge ruled that the CFO is a department head whose hiring and firing is subject to council approval.

-Was the subject of a Louisiana Legislative Auditor investigation. The findings were published on June 19.

-Was sued by three of the city’s council members, R.J. Loupe, Hugh Riviere and Garry Hubble. They claimed the mayor unlawfully used city funds since Jan. 1.

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