OPELOUSAS — A St. Landry Parish council member whose residency qualifications were challenged in a complaint filed earlier this month with the Registrar of Voters Office announced her resignation in a news release Wednesday.
Fekisha Miller-Matthews, who has represented District 3 on the council since 2007, said she was resigning from parish government due to family and career considerations, according to a release issued by St. Landry Clerk of Court Charles Jagneaux.
In the release, Miller-Matthews says she has informed Secretary of State Tom Schedler of her decision to resign effective immediately.
“The demands of my family and my career were the only considerations I have coming to the decision,” Miller-Matthews says in the release.
On March 18, deputy registrar Lauren Jones said a complaint had been filed against Miller-Matthews alleging she owns a residence in Lafayette Parish and does not live in District 3, which is north of Opelousas.
Jones said the Registrar of Voters Office is not required to reveal the name of individuals who file complaints against public officials.
According to records in the Lafayette Parish Assessor’s Office, Miller-Matthews filed for homestead exemption in Lafayette Parish from 2011-14 on a house located in Oakridge Estates.
The assessor’s 2014 records also show Miller-Matthews is listed as the sole owner of the Oakridge Estates residence, and during the same year she paid $1,676 in taxes on the property
Lafayette Parish Assessor Conrad Comeaux said in a telephone interview with The Advocate that last year Miller-Matthews sent a note to him requesting the Oakridge Estates property be pulled from the homestead exemption rolls.
When contacted by telephone for her reaction to the complaint, Miller-Matthews said she had no comment, but she thought she knew why the complaint was filed against her.
She did not elaborate on her comment.
During the same telephone interview, Miller-Matthews said her home address was in St. Landry Parish.
The address Miller-Matthews listed as her address when she qualified with the Clerk of Court for her 2015 re-election was 1349 La. 749, outside of Opelousas.
Registrar of Voters records indicate Miller-Matthews lists her voting precinct as the St. Landry Community Action Agency on La. 749, also known as the Airport Road.
St. Landry Parish Assessor’s Office records also show the owners of the 1349 La. 749 residence are Griffin Miller, relationship to Miller-Matthews unknown, and Joyce Pickney.
Miller-Matthews, listed as Fekisha Miller on the Secretary of State’s online returns for the Oct. 24 election, defeated Lionel Celestine by a vote of 1,103 to 332.
Miller-Matthews has represented District 3, which also was once represented by her late father, Griffin Pat Miller, a longtime St. Landry Parish police juror.
In the news release, Miller-Matthews says she has continued to uphold the legacy of her father, who she said, “always put the needs of the people of District 3 before his own.”
Miller-Matthews said at the start of this year she began a tutoring program to help improve the grades of those choosing to participate.
Advocate staff writer Richard Burgess contributed to this report.