SM recall petition stirs controversy
In a judicial hearing still underway at press time on Tuesday St. Martinville Dist. 3 Councilman Dennis Paul Williams is seeking damages resulting from a delay in producing the list of names on a petition to remove him from office.
According to Williams and his attorney, Allan Durand, a copy of the petition with signatures was not produced within three business days as required by law. But recall custodian Deja Alexander and her attorney, Xavier Alexander, contend that particular circumstances allow five days for a response.
Hearing the case is 16th District Court Judge Keith Comeaux. His ruling will determine whether Daja Alexander will be required to pay Williams’ legal fees and court costs.
Williams filed the request on Aug. 18. He contends that he was contacted by Alexander on the 24th. At that time, he said, Alexander did not offer a copy of the names, but told him he would be allowed to copy by hand the 20-page list of names.
He refused to do that and said he did not receive a copy of the list until Aug. 29. He further contends that the list he was given is incomplete.
Alexander’s attorney said the law allows five business days when a question is raised as to whether the list is a public record. Further, he questioned whether the request was properly tendered
The recall petition must be submitted by Oct. 15 and must contain 247 certified signatures. If that is done and the list is accepted, a special recall election for District 3 voters will decide whether Williams, who has held the office for 12 years, will remain in the seat.
Williams defeated Mourice Smith in last April’s city council election, 241 votes to 206.