A voter trying to appraise the qualifications of candidates in the race for St. Tammany Parish Assessor might have to reassess the information in a flyer issued by incumbent Louis Fitzmorris.
In the mailer, Fitzmorris describes himself as a reformer and lists his accomplishments since taking over the office from Patricia Schwarz Core two and a half years ago.
Below those bullet points, the flyer proclaims “Assessor Fitzmorris is a LA certified appraiser successfully completing over 136 hours of classroom training and testing.”
But Fitzmorris is not a certified appraiser. Rather, he’s a certified assessor, a designation he received through the Louisiana Assessor Association and the International Association of Assessing Officers.
Attorney Chip Bankston, who is running against Fitzmorris, spotted the erroneous claim in the flyer, saying he could find no record of the incumbent’s certification as an appraiser.
Fitzmorris admitted the mistake Wednesday, saying the flyer should have said Louisiana Certified Assessor. “I apologize and take responsibility for any confusion this may have caused. It should have been caught during the review process.”
Fitzmorris said that there was no intention on his part to mislead anyone. “I am not nor have I claimed to be a ‘licensed’ appraiser,” he said.
The difference, he explained, is that assessors do mass appraisals of real estate for the public, and appraisers do individual appraisals in the private market.
Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter at @spagonesadvocat.