Lafayette Parish sheriff candidate Chad Leger has agreed to a Slidell attorney’s demand that he not use the attorney’s name and image in ads criticizing Leger’s opponent, Mark Garber, for allegedly representing “illegal immigrants.”
Slidell attorney C. Ray Murry, who has been directly named at least once in anti-Garber campaign materials, collaborates with Garber, though the two are not partners and Murry has no involvement in Garber’s campaign, according to an injunction Murry filed Monday.
“It’s really to keep Ray Murry from being brought into the public forum,” said his attorney, Gary McGoffin.
In a written statement issued Monday evening by Leger’s campaign, the candidate says: “I respect the wishes of the plaintiff that he does not wish to be associated with campaign advertisements … . We look forward to continuing to present our case to the voters of Lafayette Parish, free of unnecessary distractions.”
Leger and Garber emerged from a four-man field in the primary election Saturday and will face each other in the Nov. 21 runoff.
The injunction also names as a defendant Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope, who held a news conference in early October to criticize Garber’s appearance in a 2013 video clip of him speaking to a Honduran news station about workers rights.
Pope suggested Garber was encouraging illegal immigrants to come to Louisiana to file claims, though Garber made no explicit statements to that effect in the video.
Garber has said he traveled to Honduras to set up a trust for the daughters of a Honduran native who died while on the job in Louisiana and whose family he represented.
He said a television station learned about the case and did a human interest story on it.
“I’m pretty proud of what I said. I said, ‘Tell the truth, don’t use drugs and you’re not going to be retaliated against by the federal government for filing a workers’ comp claim,’ ” Garber said in a prior interview.
Leger’s campaign had referenced the video and used excerpts from it to hammer Garber hard in recent weeks.
One radio ad by the Leger camp stated Garber “defending the rights of illegal immigrants,” which is framed as an accusation.
The radio ad also claimed: “Mark Garber makes his living filing claims against Louisiana businesses on behalf of illegal immigrants.”
Murry states in the court filings that any association of his practice with illegal immigrants is defamatory because he “has never knowingly represented an illegal alien, much less recruited them to Louisiana.”