A Pointe Coupee Parish police juror may be forced to give up his bid for re-election if he’s unable to get the Louisiana Supreme Court to overturn an appellate court ruling disqualifying him from the Oct. 24 races.
John “Sassy” Pourciau has until 4:17 p.m. Wednesday to appeal the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling he should be kicked out of the Police Jury’s District 2 race because he failed to disclose on qualifying papers that he owes more than $5,000 in fines to the state Board of Ethics.
The Board of Ethics appealed to the 1st Circuit Court after District Court Judge Alvin Batiste’s Sept. 21 decision that Pourciau could remain in the October elections because he was on a payment plan to settle his outstanding debt.
But in its ruling Monday, the appellate court said a 2011 amendment to the state’s election code makes it mandatory that outstanding ethics debts be repaid before qualifying — even if a candidate is on a payment plan.
“It’s sad; my people are mad right now,” said Pourciau, who has served on the Police Jury for 12 years. “My people love me.”
The Morganza Democrat said the Ethics Board hit him with a $6,000 fine for failing to submit campaign finance reports in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The juror says he has been making gradual payments totaling $900 over the past nine months.
Officials with the Secretary of State’s Office said Pourciau’s disqualification won’t be final until the 48-hour window to appeal the 1st Circuit ruling has expired.
Pourciau’s disqualification would mean an automatic win for his lone challenger, Mitch Langlois, a no-party candidate from Morganza.
As of Tuesday afternoon, officials in the Clerk of Court’s Office for the state Supreme Court said an appeal on Pourciau’s behalf had not been filed yet.
New Roads attorney Jerry D’Aquila, who is representing Pourciau, did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.
“We’re appealing. He said he’s filing it,” Pourciau said late Tuesday. “It’s a shame how these people are trying to do me. I offered to pay them back all the money in court last week. And they denied it.”
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