Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope is seeking to subpoena the list of people who signed the failed recall petition against him.
Court records show Pope's criminal attorney, Brett Grayson, filed a motion on Jan. 18 asking the judge to allow a subpoena requiring the recall chair and co-chair to produce the list — documents they say have long since been shredded.
The motion says a subpoena would require production of the original copy of "all executed or signed recall petitions," calling the documents "highly relevant" to assist with jury selection for Pope's upcoming criminal trial on malfeasance in office and perjury.
"The benefit is that I know in advance and I don't have to ask the questions in front of the jury," Grayson said when reached by phone Tuesday.
During jury selection, both defense attorneys and prosecutors question potential jurors to help establish their impartiality to the case before them.
Aimee Gotcher, a leader of the recall effort, told KATC on Tuesday the documents have been shredded.
"We had no reason to keep them, as they did not have to be turned in, and we were under no obligation to keep them," Gotcher said.
She said that after Pope's office arrested the recall co-chairman a day after the effort failed — and on a 20-year-old warrant for less than $200 in returned checks — the organizers were worried the list could be used for retaliation against voters who declared they wanted Pope removed from office.
Pope's felony trial is set for Feb. 20, but Grayson said that date may not stand, as an earlier decision in the case is on appeal with Louisiana's Third Circuit Court of Appeal.
Judge David Smith, of the state's 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette, previously denied Pope's motion to suppress his emails, which are central to the criminal case. Pope's attorneys argued Lafayette Consolidated Government illegally seized and produced Pope's emails, which were sent to and from his official lafayettela.gov email account. The attorneys are asking the appellate court to weigh in.
Pope also faces an upcoming probation status hearing after his a misdemeanor contempt-of-court conviction for deleting those emails, which The Independent sought in a public records request. He's now on probation until November, by which time he's required to complete 173 hours of litter abatement or community service through public records instruction.
Pope's sentence in that case became final in late 2016, but as of last month, he had completed only eight hours of litter abatement.