Who do you think should manage Ferriday water?|
Story Archives: Ferriday alderman cleared to seek re-election
- 2013 - 300 articles
- 2012 - 856 articles
- 2011 - 635 articles
- 2010 - 1276 articles
- 2009 - 1591 articles
- 2008 - 1763 articles
|Ferriday alderman cleared to seek re-election|
The Louisiana Board of Ethics may get its money, and Ferriday alderman Elijah "Stepper" Banks will get to run for re-election for his District C post following a ruling by Seventh Judicial District Court Judge Leo Boothe on Monday.
Banks testified in court that he mailed $280 to the Ethics Board on Aug. 22 in payment of a fine due since 2001. Boothe ordered Banks to pay the remaining $182.85 in court costs and interest by 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28.
The Ethics Board filed a motion Friday as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure challenging Skipper's candidacy for Ferriday alderman.
In court on Monday, Ethics Board attorney Aneatra P. Boykin said the challenge to Banks' candidacy was not due to the money he owes in fines, court costs and interest but because he was untruthful when filing his Notice of Candidacy paperwork for the alderman post.
In the challenge, the Ethics Board reported that Banks swore and subscribed before a Notary Public on Aug. 16 that "he did not have any outstanding late fines" due pursuant to the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
The Ethics Board claimed, however, that Banks was well aware he had outstanding fines, fees and penalties due, noting that in 2002 he paid $80 of a $360 fee charged him for failing to timely filed his campaign finance disclosure report for 2002.
A judgment for the remaining $280 due was rendered against Banks in 2007 and charges of $182.85 in court costs and interest has since been added, upping the total due to $462.85.
Boothe indicated that the state statue says that the Louisiana Board of Ethics' decision to pursue these types of cases is optional. He cited a July 16th letter Banks received from the Ethics Board indicating that until the fine and other costs were paid it would object to his future candidacy for office, but once payment was made in full the objection would be withdrawn.
Banks introduced a fax dated Aug. 22 that he said he transmitted from Bryant Hammett's office in Ferriday which indicated that Banks was mailing that day a check to the Ethics Board for $280. Boothe said this showed good faith on Banks' part, which distinguishes his case from others.
Boothe pointed out that it was not until Friday, Aug. 24, that the Ethics Board filed suit objecting to Banks' candidacy, two days after Banks claimed to have mailed a $280 check to pay the fine.
Boykin reported in court Monday that as of that morning, Aug. 27, Banks' payment had yet to arrive in Baton Rouge. The Ethics Board offices were closed Tuesday and Wednesday due to Hurricane Isaac.
Banks, who represented himself in court, testified that he neglected to take care of the matter in the past and that he knew he owed the money. He said he didn't carefully read through the Notice of Candidacy document in which he swore to having no outstanding fines, fees or penalties due pursuant to the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
He testified that he had completed two years in college and studied law while in the military.
Emerson Slain of Ferriday was called by Banks to testify to Banks' character. Slain said he has known Banks for 15 to 20 years and didn't think Banks "would intentionally break the law."
For the full story, subscribe to the The Concordia Sentinel's NEW E-Edition!
|Frank Morris Murder Series|