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Iberia Parish residents launch effort to recall Ackal - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Iberia Parish residents launch effort to recall Ackal

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Sheriff Louis Ackal Sheriff Louis Ackal

A group of Iberia Parish residents has launched an effort to recall Sheriff Louis Ackal. 

The sheriff, reached Friday afternoon after he had been working a "senseless murder" all night, said he "couldn't care less" about the recall.

A spokeswoman for the Louisiana Secretary of State said her office received the documentation for the effort Friday at approximately noon, and that staff were processing it at that time. Under Louisiana law, organizers must have their paperwork processed and approved by the Secretary of State prior to starting their efforts to gather signatures. 

Recalls must obtain signatures from one-third of the registered voters in a voting district in order to force a recall. If the signatures are obtained, an electio is called, and voters decide if the elected official in question is recalled. 

Donald Broussard is the vice-chair of the recall effort aimed at Ackal. He said his group is hoping to get the required number of signatures - approximately 16,000 - to recall the sheriff within 90 days. State law gives him 180 days, but Broussard said he wants to wrap up his petition in time to put the recall vote on this fall's general election ballot. 

"That will save the taxpayers some money," he said. 

Broussard said his group feels that the sheriff, who is facing federal civil rights charges in connection with the alleged mistreatment of prisoners in his jail, should step down. He said they're fighting for people who have been mistreated in the sheriff's custody, but also those who work for the sheriff, he said. 

"The good men and women of the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office, they're fighting a battle on two fronts," Broussard said. "The public trust in the sheriff's office, it's not there. They have to go out and deal with the criticism, and they have to fight the community's mistrust." 

Broussard said the recent accusation by the U.S. Justice Department, that Ackal made threatening statements about the prosecutor, shows what kind of character the sheriff has. 

"To the sheriff, I say, keep talking," Broussard said. "A man's mouth lets you know where his heart is." 

Ackal has denied that he threatened the prosecutor or anyone else. He has expressed frustration with the charges against him, and also with the unwillingness of the community to assist his detectives in solving crime in the city. 

"Where was he when the shootings are going on in his neighborhoods?" the sheriff said of Broussard. "But he wants to blame the Sheriff. I don't have camp and I don't play golf. I was out until 7 this morning with this senseless murder that could have been prevented."

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