AG: Lafayette council members ‘skirted,’ ‘disregarded’ open meetings law

Local

Several Lafayette City-Parish Council members violated the state open meetings law by discussing in text messages how to secure enough votes needed to adopt a change in the local government charter, an assistant state attorney general claims.

But the violation can’t be prosecuted because it was discovered long past the 60-day window that state law requires to address such problems, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Wale wrote in a July 8 memo

“It is clear that members of the city-parish council skirted, if not outright disregarded, Louisiana’s Open Meeting Law,” Wale wrote. 

The council members discussed in text messages polling other council members and ensuring they had the votes necessary to get the ordinance approving a December vote on splitting the council introduced and approved.

The messages were revealed as part of a records request made by the Attorney General’s office on May 9, the day after a trial judge ruled in favor of the council’s district fix, and released by the Lafayette Consolidated Government at the end of June.

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