James Gill: Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere should have just accepted the ticket after caught urinating on Causeway _lowres

Donald Villere

Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere was issued a citation for public urination Thursday night after a car in which he was a passenger stopped at a Lake Pontchartrain Causeway crossover so he could relieve himself, Villere confirmed Saturday.

The incident happened about 8:45 p.m.

Villere, 63, said a medical issue sometimes causes him to need to go to the bathroom urgently and was the cause for the stop.

The driver — Henry diFranco, the city’s consulting engineer — pulled over on the northernmost crossover, and Villere used the vehicle’s door to provide himself a little privacy.

The scene was witnessed by a Causeway police officer, who gave Villere the ticket.

Villere said he had been at a social event at a residence on the south shore.

Carlton Dufrechou, general manager of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, confirmed Villere’s narrative, adding that diFranco was given a field sobriety test, which he passed. Because Villere was not the driver, he was not given a sobriety test, Dufrechou said.

Mandeville mayors have had a colorful past with the 24-mile bridge that links their city and the south shore. In 2008, then-Mayor Eddie Price plowed through a Causeway tollbooth before being pulled over miles later.

Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.