ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Following an extensive hearing process in St. Landry parish, a judge has ruled Richard Lewis disqualified from the race for parish president.
On August 15, a motion was filed by Parish President Jessie Bellard to disqualify Lewis from candidacy for parish president; saying Lewis failed to file taxes in 2021 and 2022 and lied on his candidacy form.
Lewis initially disputed the accusation and appealed after a judge’s rule to disqualify him on August 18th.
Through testimony by several witnesses including the Department of Revenue, it was revealed there was no record of Lewis filing taxes.
Lewis says his taxes were filed digitally, but the lack of proof was his biggest setback.
“The fact that they said the taxes haven’t been filed when in fact the taxes have been filed. But that’s how it is. They play the game and that’s what happens,” said Lewis.
Lewis said he respects result of the court but has disagreements about the process.
“I respect the court’s decision today. I do have a problem with the way some of the information was gained, I don’t think it was proper. I do think I had some feedback from the standpoint that when I filed the appeal and won in the appeals court, they didn’t like that and I think that played a part in the situation that took place today,” said Lewis.
Jessie Belard (parish president): “We’ve been through this process twice, and on the merrits of the case he could not prove that he did do his taxes,” said Bellard.
As a result of the judge’s decision, Lewis is required to pay all legal fees for both the plaintiff and the defendant.