Scarlett Alaniz was disqualified Monday morning from her bid to challenge District 4 Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn in the Oct. 24 primary.
Barring a successful appeal, that would leave Zahn with an automatic victory and a second term on the Parish Council. Alaniz could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court ruled that Alaniz should be disqualified because she had failed to pay more than $700 worth of fines to the state Ethics Administration when she signed up for the election earlier this month.
On her qualifying forms, Alaniz, 45, indicated that she had no outstanding fines. But at the time, she still owed fines of $420 and $300 to the Ethics Administration for filing two campaign finance reports late during an unsuccessful run for a Kenner City Council seat last year. The Ethics Administration itself then sought Alaniz’s disqualification.
Alaniz, who once served as a liaison to the Hispanic community in Kenner under former Mayor Phil Capitano, has said that she mistakenly believed her campaign manager had already paid the fines, then paid them herself a few days after signing up to run against Zahn.
She represented herself at a 45-minute hearing held in front of Sullivan on Monday.