State Attorney General Jeff Landry says the Lafayette City-Parish Council’s decision to approve the ordinance to amend the charter was a bad call. He says the rules exist for a reason.
Landry says his decision that an ordinance to fix the home rule charter would not work is based on the law and not politics. He says it’s like rules to a board game. “The charter spells out how it’s to be amended. They did a poor job of crafting the amendment. The defect in the amendment cannot be cured through an ordinance,” Landry stated.
The next step is to hold an election for the new council seats. Landry says they council should be concerned about whether or no the secretary of state will allow them to qualify for office being the seats have been improperly created. “They can pass the ordinance but they have to have an election. To have an election they’re going to have to go to the Secretary of State to qualify.”
Furthermore, the attorney general says it’s purely a local issue but suspects a lawsuit could be waiting in the wings. “I would suspect that someone may file a suit. If they do, it’s most likely to pervail,” Landry added.
“We’ve had a multitude of discussions with the Secretary of State. I sent a lawyer to a meeting of the city-parish council and many weeks ago or maybe even a month now. At the time we believed we would be asked this question; so we were prepared for it,” Landry explained.