The campaign to recall Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope failed to gain enough signatures to get a recall election on a ballot, the campaign announced Sunday.
The campaign needed signatures from one-third of the city’s registered voters within 180 days of filing the recall petition June 12, or the first business day thereafter. That deadline was Monday when they needed about 27,400 signatures. As of Thursday afternoon, they were short about 3,800, Chairwoman Aimee Robinson said then. It’s not clear how many signatures the campaign managed to log.
Robinson did not return a call Monday.
The failure to launch a recall election “should not be mistaken as support for the marshal, but rather the apathy that plagues Lafayette,” the campaign said in a statement.
“Time and time again, we heard support for the movement but reluctance to sign the petition or get involved,” the statement said. “When you fail to take action and stand against what is wrong, you give consent.”
Pope was elected three years ago, and his tenure has been marked by layers of scandal. He is facing criminal perjury and malfeasance charges — seven in all — related to allegations he used public resources to support his favored candidate in the 2015 Lafayette Parish sheriff election. The trial is scheduled for Feb. 20.
Pope’s practice of paying himself with court fees is one of the primary complaints of the recall campaign, which released Pope’s personal tax returns showing he took home more than $120,000 in such fees last year on top of his regular wages of nearly $75,000.
Last month, the campaign drew attention to Pope’s stymieing of a Louisiana attorney general's opinion on the fees issue. Pope sought the opinion in response to pressure from auditors and Lafayette city-parish officials, but he did not respond to the Attorney General’s Office’s attempts to reach him once the opinion was completed, according to a Sept. 21 letter from Assistant Attorney General Alexander Reinboth. The Attorney General’s Office then withdrew the opinion.
Campaign organizers vowed to continue their opposition to Pope in other ways, including a pending request of the Attorney General’s Office to release the opinion on court fees.
Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope, who is facing criminal charges related to the 2015 sheriff's election, is preventing the release of a highl…
City Marshal Brian Pope’s deleted emails can be used as evidence in the criminal case against him, a Lafayette Parish judge ruled on Thursday.