LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Controversy is surrounding City Council Candidate for District 1 Rickey Hardy after he received a cease and desist letter for his campaign signs.
The letter was in regards to the Lafayette Public Library logo Hardy used on his campaign sign and was sent by attorney Paige Casselman Beyt of Oats and Marino.
Sarah Monroe, the Interim Library Director, said Hardy’s use of the logo on his campaign signs implied the library endorsed him as a candidate.
“We have very specific rules and policies surrounding political activities, and as the Lafayette Public Library, we’re not allowed to endorse any specific candidate, so we sent a cease and desist letter,” Monroe said. “The logo use is reserved for the Lafayette Public Library and any condoned collaboration, partners, and things like that.”
“By state statute, the Lafayette Public Library Board of Control is the governing body for the Lafayette Public Library. Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) and the Lafayette Public Library are independent of each other. The Lafayette Parish Council appoints library board members,” said Tonya LaCoste Trcalek, the Communications and Media Specialist for the Lafayette Consolidated Government.
Hardy said his connection to the library is that $8 million was appropriated by the City Council years ago to be able to build a library, but it has not been built.
“The library is not doing what it’s supposed to be doing to service the people on the North side of town, and I just want to indicate to the people on the North side of town that I raise and support a library on the North side of town,” said Hardy.
He said the cease and desist order itself was political.
“I didn’t panic. I didn’t get upset because, at the end of the day, I have a reason, and I can justify why I’m doing what I’m doing. If it is wrong, I can correct my actions,” said Hardy. “Given all the controversy with the library not being built on the North side of town, I felt that the cease and desist letter was an attempt to shut me up.”
Hardy said he understands and knows using the logo is not an endorsement from Lafayette Public Library.
“If there’s anything that I am doing wrong, I stand in correction. I will correct my wrong. However, it is an indication that I’m letting the public know the library is the topic of the issues for years and years. It’s been in the news even with the ongoing issues with the Lafayette Public Library. I pay taxes, I’m a taxpayer, and I believe that we need to get the library on the North side of town. Not for me; for the residents of districts 1 and 5,” said Hardy. “Which one do you want to do? Give me a book, or give me a jail cell? It’s easy for me to have a book, and then I can be able to prepare myself, educate myself and stay out of jail.”
Hardy said he had nearly 75 signs with the logo, but if there are any solutions or remedies, he would like to meet with the attorney to discuss options.
He quoted Martin Luther King Jr. saying,
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”