A new front has been opened in the battle for the Jefferson Parish School Board District 5 seat: a Jefferson Parish courtroom.
Simeon Dickerson, who is challenging longtime board member Cedric Floyd for his seat in the Dec. 8 runoff, has sued Floyd and attorney Ronald Wilson for what he says are defamatory remarks made in a mailer sent to potential voters.
The mailer claims that Dickerson was arrested for auto theft, possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and battery on two police officers. It also says that Dickerson "claims to be a teacher" but is not certified to teach by the state of Louisiana.
"The statements are intentionally misleading and/or defamatory," the petition says.
With the election just days away, Dickerson is asking a judge to issue a temporary restraining order preventing Floyd or Wilson from making the claims.
Dickerson was never arrested for any charge, he said this week. But his name and identity were stolen and used by a person who was arrested, he said.
Dickerson said he was subpoenaed to court in the case, and when he showed up, prosecutors realized that he was the wrong man and dropped the charges.
He conceded that he is not certified to teach by the state of Louisiana but produced a letter from Robert Moton Charter School stating that he is employed there as a science teacher for the 2018-19 school year.
Floyd did not return a call seeking comment.
The case was assigned to Judge Nancy Miller of 24th Judicial District Court.
Dickerson and Floyd are the two candidates left in a three-candidate race. Floyd finished first in the Nov. 6 primary, with 43 percent. Dickerson had 37 percent.
Floyd has long been a controversial member of the Jefferson Parish School Board. He has feuded with superintendents and other board members. The board recently voted to settle a suit brought by a former employee who alleged that school administrators had failed to protect her from Floyd's harassing behavior. The board voted to censure him in connection with that suit.