Baton Rouge City Court candidate Carson Marcantel will stay in the race after a state judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to disqualify him.
City residents Charles P. Bergeron and E. Helen Antilley had alleged that Marcantel did not file his 2016 state tax return. But an attorney for the plaintiffs told District Judge Don Johnson on Wednesday that they wanted to drop their legal challenge after learning from Marcantel that he had indeed filed that return.
Paulette Porter LaBostrie, the lawyer for Bergeron and Antilley, explained to the judge that the confusion arose because there is apparently another person in Louisiana by the name of Carson Marcantel. She said she did not know which Carson Marcantel didn't file a 2016 tax return because the Louisiana Department of Revenue statute does not allow the plaintiffs to obtain that information. Only the taxpayer can get that information, she said.
Bergeron and Antilley did not attend Wednesday's hearing at the 19th Judicial District Court.
"This suit was filed against me by these plaintiffs who didn't even show up today to prove the allegation," Marcantel said after court.
"I look forward to resuming my campaign since I have been cleared of these baseless allegations," he added.
Johnson's dismissal of the lawsuit against Marcantel came a day after one of the judge's colleagues, state District Judge Tim Kelley, disqualified City Court candidate Colette Greggs from the Oct. 9 election.
A state judge disqualified Baton Rouge City Court candidate Colette Greggs from the Oct. 9 election on Tuesday, noting that, because of where …
Greggs is appealing the decision.
The other candidates in the City Court Division A race are Whitney Higginbotham Greene and Terrel "TK" Kent.
Kelley ruled Tuesday that because of where Greggs lives, she isn't even qualified to vote in the contest for the job she wants.
Marcantel, a Republican, is a longtime criminal defense lawyer and a former East Baton Rouge assistant district attorney. He and five others ran in 2017 for the City Court Division E seat after veteran Judge Suzan Ponder retired, but Judy Moore Vendetto, the sister of East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III, won that election.
Both Marcantel and Greggs, a Democrat, previously worked for the East Baton Rouge public defender's office.
The three-day qualifying period for the Oct. 9 elections ended Friday, leaving two candidates vying for an East Baton Rouge Parish Family Cour…
Greene, who spent more than a decade as a prosecutor in the state Attorney General's Office, is the daughter of retired 1st Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Toni Higginbotham and retired Judge Leo Higginbotham, and sister of 19th JDC Judge Beau Higginbotham.
Greene, who lists her political affiliation as "no party," ran as a Republican for City Court in 2015, 2017 and last year.
Kent, a Democrat, has been a prosecutor in the East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office for six-and-a-half years, but she is now on leave during the campaign. She previously clerked for several 19th JDC judges.
Greggs, daughter of the late, legendary Southern University Band Director Isaac Greggs,
Greggs ran in 2014 for a 19th JDC seat but was defeated by incumbent Judge Todd Hernandez, who has since retired from the Baton Rouge state court.
The City Court Division A seat, previously held by Judge Chris Hester, became vacant when he won election last December to the 1st Circuit. His old City Court term does not expire until the end of 2024.
Early voting for the election runs Sept. 25 through Oct. 2, excluding the Sunday between on Sept. 26.