Municipal Court Judge Paul Sens recused himself Wednesday from hearing the case against New Orleans mayoral candidate Frank Scurlock, who was arrested last month during a protest near the Jefferson Davis monument on Canal Street.
Sens suggested other judges at the court might have to do the same thing.
That's because one of Scurlock's opponents in the mayoral race is Desiree Charbonnet, a former member of the Municipal Court bench, said Thomas Robichaux, Scurlock's attorney.
Frank Scurlock, a candidate for New Orleans mayor and would-be developer of the former Six F…
Sens said he is waiting to hear from the state Supreme Court's ethics office about whether any of the court's judges can hear the case or if an outside judge must be appointed.
Scurlock, a businessman who has also pitched a plan to redevelop the Six Flags site in New Orleans East, was arrested May 6 on the neutral ground near the Davis monument. He said he was not at the site as a protester but rather to talk with people on both sides of the issue.
He said he was hoping to alert police to what he had learned when he was arrested.
The arrest came in the tense days leading up to the eventual removal of the statue, the second of four monuments to Confederate officials and a white supremacist militia that the city took down in April and May.
Protesters calling for the statues to remain had set up camp near the Davis statue at Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway, which was surrounded by fencing, barricades and a constant police presence.
In a video posted to YouTube, Scurlock can be seen talking to a 911 dispatcher on his cellphone while standing near the fence the city had erected around the monument.
Scurlock then starts to follow a police officer on the scene, continuing to do so even after the officer asks him to stop. The officer then pushes Scurlock into the fence, and several other officers swoop in to arrest him.
Scurlock was booked on a count of crossing a police line, though the video does not show him actually passing the barricade.
Editor's note: This story was updated on June 29, 2017, to correct the spelling of Thomas Robichaux's name.