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Group calls on DA to challenge Pope's candidacy; documents requested

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Posted at 6:31 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 19:31:25-04

A Lafayette group is calling on District Attorney Keith Stutes to file a challenge to the candidacy of suspended City Marshal Brian Pope.

And, late Wednesday officials with the Lafayette Registrar of Voters office confirmed that they had received requests from the District Attorney for documents related to Pope's status. That request was pursuant to La. R.S. 18:491, which is the Louisiana law that covers objections to candidacies.

We reached out to Stutes, but haven't heard back from him yet.

Pope is a convicted felon, although he is appealing that conviction. He also faces two more felony trials, each in which he faces accusations that he improperly took money for himself while running the marshal's office. He faces a probation revocation hearing next month. To read about that, click here.

Today, a local group, Holding Brian Pope Accountable, has called on its followers to contact Stutes and ask him to file an objection to Pope's candidacy.

As we reported last week, Pope qualified to run for re-election, even though he hasn't been running the marshal's office since his 2018 conviction. The city had to hire an interm marshal to take over. And, after his conviction, his right to vote was suspended.

That's the basis of the action the group is requesting.

"We are asking 15th JDC District Attorney Keith Stutes to exercise the power given to him in RS 18:491 Section B:

B. A registered voter may present evidence that a candidate has illegally qualified for elective office. The evidence may be presented to the respective parish district attorney, who shall determine whether or not the evidence presented establishes grounds for objecting to such candidacy and if the district attorney makes such a determination he shall file an action objecting to candidacy within the time limitation provided in R.S. 18:493.

Brian Pope is NOT a registered voter in Lafayette Parish. "According to the Lafayette Registrar of Voters Office, Pope is the only candidate running for Lafayette City Marshal who is unable to vote in Lafayette. He was suspended as a voter on Dec. 6, 2018, which is about two months after his conviction.

"He should be disqualified," the post states.

The post also asks followers to call Stutes and ask that he file an action objecting to the candidacy this week.